Lily Allen, the straight talking, singing sensation, makes a rapturous return with her eagerly awaited second album, It's Not Me, It's You. Turning her infamously sharp tongue to a number of frank and intimate subjects, Lily wears her heart on her sleeve to deliver a catchy, witty, and personal record that sensationally sparkles with dance-inducing hooks and pop sensibilities.
Two and a half years since the release of her multi-platinum debut, Alright, Still, Lily Allen is back with an album even bigger and more danceable than its highly regarded predecessor. From the blunt and consciously contradictory 'Everyone's At It' through to the bouncy, elemental closer 'He Wasn't There', It's Not Me, It's You moves effortlessly through an impressive range of musical styles and soundscapes. Whilst the irony-filled, chart-topping single 'The Fear' documents celebrity superficiality over a pulsating, electro dance beat, the suggestive ditty 'Not Fair' lifts and dips with twanging guitars and galloping drum patterns to cleverly construct a debauched, bluegrass-inspired sound. Demonstrating newfound confidence, Allen delves further into uncharted styles with the fast-paced 'Back To The Start'. Rising under a selection of carefully pitched techno beats, the track grows into the sound of an early '90s rave anthem before being yanked back into the modern day with precise breaks and dulcet vocals. Although themes shift occasionally from Lily's personal life on songs like the piano-led, observatory tale '22', the majority of tracks on the album are private and honest accounts straight from the heart. Whether it be recalling the tender evocation of romance in 'Who'd Have Known' or seeking comfort in her mother with 'Chinese', Lily's distinctive and gentle voice bristles tentatively with emotion on each track, making every listen increasingly more fulfilling.
Whilst the attitude and shameless honesty that fuelled her debut album re-emerges with vigour to delight loyal fans, it is the new stylised dabblings and jostling pace of It's Not Me, It's You, that will entice, surprise, and ultimately delight those less familiar with the controversial star's innovative music. With the aid of Britney Spears producer Greg Kurstin, Lily Allen has broadened her horizons and turned in an exquisite, modern, and loveable pop record that will be returned to again and again.