19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2007
After the hyped release of "Smile", Lily Allen emerges in the music scene with an album to be remembered as one of the best debuts ever in British pop music.
"Alright Still" features some of the songs Lily has uploaded in her MySpace page, giving her the credit of being one the first mainstream acts to make use of social networking.
In a 37 minute album, the singer mixes pop, indie, ska, reggae and hip hop in songs with great potential to become singles.
Besides catchy and bitchy "Smile", highlights in "Alright Still" include the MySpace hit "LDN", whose lyrics and video are dedicated to London, "Alfie" lyrically funny and genious (inspired in her real little brother Alfie), the informal bizarre "Knock 'Em Out", which features lyrics that were used as the title of the album.
Lyrically Lily proves to be a contemporary poet, mixing meaningful messages with stupid jokes and informal slangs.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2008
I first saw Lily Allen on a Mark Ronson video with her posing as a cartoon Roger Rabbit style, and I thought to myself, this girl is different creative and unique. Then she featured in Common's "Drivin me Wild" video and I was asking myself do this artist have an album yet? Well, late(as usual) I discovered that she did have an album because I saw two of her own videos on Havoc TV. Those videos were "Smile" and "LDN" and I was blown away. She has a merry-go-roundish type pop, but hip-hop, with a little dash of sing-a-long join hands and dance around in circles type vibe that I became so addicted, I watched the videos over and over again. So I was going to go get the album when I discovered my own sister (which music range isn't as deep as mine) knew and had the album way before I found out about this album. (Of course I was furious, but I had to snatch it up and listen).
Great music, great production from Mr. Ronson. "Knock em Out" and gameshow sounding "Everythings Just Wonderful" has Lily talking about having bad credit, family members smoking weed, etc, this girl has issues if you get past her melodic high vocals and listen to the lyrics. My personal favorites are "Friday Night" the addictive but creative "Shame For You", and hands down the best song on the album with its light synth and heavy keys "Take What You Take", yeah that's the title, Lily Allen really stretches out and shows her true vocal skills. She even does a little rapping on the album which doesn't sound bad either. "Nan You're A Window Shopper" she sounds better than 50 cent's version and a little more threatning too (sorry Fiddy)!! To nick pick, "Alfie" gets lost in the shuffle, but Lily comes hard with a stellar debut album and looking forward to hearing more from this strange genius!!
4 stars. The Brit sensation!!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2006
Allegedly, Lily Allen's newfound popularity is partly due to a certain website, which has become immensely popular within the last couple of years. Lily Allen's material received enormous feedback and was allegedly downloaded over 1 million times! Not bad for an unknown artist. However, Lily Allen has managed to land herself a top 10 spot on the UK album chart with the album Alright, Still. Yet my familiarity with the impertinent Lily Allen began with the tune Smile which was constantly being played on Danish radio. Her direct lyrics had me fascinated and as I stumbled upon her album in a second-hand music store I did not hesitate by buying the album immediately.
The album opens with the humorous Smile, showing the appeal of Lily Allen: her straightforward and non-nonsense lyrics. Unlike many other mainstream artists, Lily Allen makes no use of sugar-coating her points. Smile is a playful hymn with a catchy refrain and will surely appeal to anyone, who has been deceived and dumped by their boyfriend, now seeking revenge over his `crimes'. Knock `Em Out is one of album's best offering. The up-tempo song is sharp and on point as Lily Allen bursts out `No you can't have my number/'Coz I lost my phone'. The reggae-inspired LDN, allegedly the first single off the album, is a tale of the ups and downs of the city life, revealing that everything is not as peachy as it seems. The lyrics of Alright, Still are permeated with irony and sarcasm, which are quite refreshing and create a different atmosphere, while listening to the album. Everything's Just Wonderful is an example of the sarcasm, which Lily Allen and her follow writers employ in terms of the lyrics On Alright, Still. Up next is the hard-hitting Not Big, referring to the size of her ex-boyfriend. Quite catchy, despite the rather intimate subject. Other memorable tunes are the racy Friday Night and the hilarious Alfie, revealing that little brothers are not always easy to control.
It is difficult to assert the overall style off Alright, Still. The music style is a combination of a variety of styles, yet one thing is certain; Lily Allen has managed to find her own style among other newcomers. Overall Alright, Still is a cohesive endeavour with minor flaws. The quality of the songs on the album is simply spectacular and definitely worth a purchase. Alright, Still can best be described as modern pop with a twist, while also containing witty and hard-hitting lyrics. While Alright, Still is catchy and entertaining, it might not make an impression initially on the listeners. It was not until I had listened to it a couple of times, before it slowly worked its magic on me.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
In the movie SAW, the serial killer Jigsaw calls one of his victims, "Angry and apathetic, but mostly just pathetic." That description would fall pretty aptly on Lilly Allen, or at least on the character she's portraying in this album.
I don't know much about the lass, who initially caught my attention with an effortless, liquid rendition of "LDN" at the '08 Prince's Trust concert, except that she's the offspring of a very well-heeled British actor. Thus, her decidedly punkish, working-class persona, complete with Cockney accent, may be a complete fake. I've no clue. I can only go on what I hear, and from a strictly musical standpoint what I hear is pretty good.
Allen has a lovely, just a bloody lovely voice, not merely pleasing but equipped with a subtly modulating resonance of the type Britney Spears probably dreams about between spells in the looney bin. She also has a wickedly subversive sense of humor, showcased on such songs as "Knock `em Out" and "Not Big", and a great observational eye, making most of the songs either laugh out loud funny or good for a nod and a thoughtful chuckle. The production is thoroughly professional, so much so the whole album seems to sparkle with some kind of machined gloss, and nearly every beat and tune ridiculously catchy.
Where the album disappoints is under the hood. Allen says a lot, but when you scrape away the icing she doesn't have much to say. She hates bureacrats, old people (her most ill-tempered rants go to her own grandmother, who has blasphemed against the punk code by growing old, a horror Allen seems to regard as a character fault...let's see how you feel in another 30 years, Lil), commercialism, and nearly all of her ex-boyfriends. Her main desire in life seems to be club-hopping, but she devotes several songs to gripes about obnoxious doormen, hostile-jealous girl rivals, and ugly guys that hit on her, so you have to wonder why she bothers. Everything on the album is catchy and clever, but all the effort seems a bit wasted when the content is so random and psychologically shallow. I kept waiting for a real punk-type rant, replete with guitar-smashing and burning British flags, but it never came. This is real belly-to-asphalt, working-class-on-the-dole, narrow-horizon type stuff, and my final impression was of a thoroughbred race horse hooked up to a everyday milkwagon: lots of talent spent in the wrong direction. Lilly Allen has a gorgeous voice and a skewering wit, and her next time at bat I hope she swings at more substantive stuff than sexually unsatisfying boyfriends and coupon-clipping grandmas. 3.5/5
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2006
This is one of my favourite and most fun buys of 2006. Daughter of actor and comedian Keith Allen, Lily is a breath of fresh air to a music scene that takes itself way too seriously and has allowed itself to grow stale in the process. One newspaper critic described her voice as "as thin as a supermodel's ankle" but you know what? It doesn't matter! She's fun!
"Smile" was a number 1 hit for here here in the UK earlier in the year and while subsequent releases haven't fared so well, the album is packed with fun tunes. She captures the essence of inner-city young female angst pefectly. Some of my personal favourites (apart from "Smile") are:
"Knock 'Em Out", where she sings about being hassled by boys she's not interested in. ("Not in a million years," she sings, which always makes me hoot).
"LDN", where she describes the urban decay she sees all around her but, like many inner-city Londoners, wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
"Everything's Just Wonderful", which has a truly beautiful chorus.
"Not Big", where she slags off an ex-boyfriend. As you do.
"Littlest Things", a song about feeling lonely after the end of a relationship and reminiscing about the good days.
and "Take What You Take", where she tells "old" people to shut up, mind their own business and stop offering advice. That's me told then.
But in truth, I like all the songs. Her lyrics are not only humourous but very insightful. I like Lily's spunkyness and I especially love the fact that she hasn't done what so many British singers have done and still do, i.e. try to sing like an American. Good on her. A friend of mine thinks this is what the Specials would be doing if they were still around (and had a female vocalist). I can see where he's coming from but - many of her songs do have a ska/reggae feel to them but I think she's more difficult to pigeon hole. There are even elements of good old New Orleans jazz funk in there somewhere. She's done pretty well this year at home, I really hope the US market warms to her. She's definitely one of a kind.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2007
Ok, I'm being overly dramatic and sappy. But, every February I search for the music that will bring hope to the end of the dark winter blues.
It has been 3 years that I have found a song, let a lone a whole album, that made me feel like the darkness will be over soon and it's time to get out there and (ironically) SMILE!
The eclectic genre is catchy, her band mates fabulously talented and OMG can she sing!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Bought this on the strength of the track "Smile" (an MTV featured new single, and once a free single on iTunes). Not dissapointed. If you've heard Nellie McKay's stuff, then you'll dig her. She's like Nellie McKay, only more pop-ish, and with a fierce sense of humor that can only belong to a Brit. Each song has got this great humourous voice (In LDN, she waxes nostalgic about London's crime rate; in Knock 'em out, she addresses the unwelcome advance at a bar; in my personal favorite, "Not Big", she gives the speech many a lady wishes she had given her ex-boyfriend, and you can guess from that title what the song's about). These songs typically have a great beat, you'll immediately want to memorize all the hooks and all the choruses.
I'm always looking for a fresh female voice to add to the pop lanscape (no offense to Fergie or G. Stefani, who I also listen to) and people, this is definately a welcome addition.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2006
The first thing you think of when listening to this album is The Streets. Witty lines, British accents, and plenty of self lamenting may get many listeners thinking it's a female brit hip-hopper. But listen a little longer, and you'll realize it's a fusion of both hip-hop and brit pop. In this album, the producer makes sure that the sounds are unique and the hooks stay lasting in your head.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2006
Lily Allen is a musician that is so refreshingly good. Since its earliest days pop music has been orchestrated and over produced. But here Allen and from what I gather a host of first rate producers come together and create what has to be one of the best records to come along in years. The last female solo record I enjoyed this much was Fiona Apples debut a decade ago.
Allen herself has written eleven songs here that are startlingly dark. I say they are startling because the music is some of the happiest array of jangly beats you will ever come across. The lyrics are unique, you wont find many writers composing such complicated stories or ideas. I would say that Allens lyrical stories are like little addicting mind bombs that are enjoyable to listen to over and over again. At the same time, Allens voice and personality come forth and work as an instrument that plays off the music occurring behind her.
The producers are really important here. I hardly ever feel that producers add very much when you talk about four guys who are rocking away, but in a complicated pop atmosphere like this, they might have as much of a roll in how the music ends up as the artist. Here, just about every song is a guide book on 'how to' produce the most catchy original jingle.
I don't often feel the need to say how great I think a new cd/lp is. But this one by Lily Allen is definitely one to crow about.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2006
I first stumbled across Lilly on Youtube with her song "LDN" and became an instant fan. Now I've heard the rest of her songs and I like her even more.
Her sweet sugary voice and the bouncy, poppy, ska inflected music masks a sharp, observant and darkly witty lyricist. She's sweet as pie, but you wouldn't want to piss her off in a dark alley on a saturday night. You might just get cut to ribbons.
The album is a total earworm and I can tell that I'm going to be listening to a lot of it. I think Lilly is going to go far-- after watching her music videos I think she has a promising future as an actress as well as a singer/songwriter and I'm eager to see what the future holds for Ms. Allen.