Brooklyn scenesters have already taken to Lily Allen’s Alright, Still and it hasn’t even dropped in the U.S. yet. Cultivated and marketed on MySpace, Allen’s sales will likely amount to that of other hyped-up imports like Ms. Dynamite, Annie, M.I.A., and Jem (whose similar-sounding Finally Woken is infinitely better but received a fraction of the attention because its lyrics didn’t include words like “cunt”)—that is to say, not much at all, and rightfully so. The production on tracks like “Shame For You” and “Alfie” is fantastic, and there are plenty of catchy melodies and clever samples, but Allen is a poser who lacks charisma, bites off of everyone else, and is so sickeningly contemptuous of everyone but herself that it makes the pretty, melancholy piano-and-drum-loop ballad “Littlest Things” seem like a farce. “When I see you cry, it makes me smile,” she sings without a smirk of irony on the inexplicable UK chart-topper “Smile,” while the reprehensible “Not Big” finds her chastising some bloke for being “small in the game” and exacting restitution for being “premature.” Why so damn pissy, Lily? There’s an entire song revolving around Allen’s irrational sense of entitlement over having to wait in line to get into a club, and then when she finally gets in the door nothing happens. She’s all mouth. Pink would eat her alive. “Take What You Take” is an uplifting, inspiring little number whose lesson is do whatever the fuck you want as long as it’s “real.” Worse still is “Knock ‘Em Out,” a song about wanting to punch unwanted suitors in the face. Allen’s reasons for rejecting them are amusing (“My house is on fire,” “I’m pregnant,” “I’ve got herpes,” even a trendy AIDS joke!) but they’re ultimately crass, especially when you consider it’s all in the name of getting rid of someone she deems “nasty.” Comparisons to Mike Skinner aren’t unwarranted, particularly here and on “Everything’s Just Wonderful,” but Skinner’s probably the kind of guy Allen would mock for even thinking about buying her a drink. Rubbish.
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