ALBUM REVIEW: Lily Allen ‘Sheezus’

Straight up and to the point, Lily Allen’s latest album ‘Sheezus’ is lyrically so blatant that she might as well have name-dropped pop culture celebrities throughout every track. Its title, a pun on egotistical Kanye’s ‘Yeezus’, gives us the impression that it too will be full of self acclaim; though the disjointed collection of upbeat pop songshighlights Allen’s uncertainty of her place among the popular music scene’s biggest divas.

Far from her ‘boho’ days of prom dresses and hi tops, Allen has matured after she announced her retirement from music five years ago. Motherhood has clearly influenced her, as family life and her lack of interest in social media are the body of this out-of-retirement comeback album. Fortunately, her distinctive narrative of blunt truths is ever present.

Title track ‘Sheezus’ opens up with loose hip-hop beats and whirling synths whilst name-dropping Katy Perry, Beyoncé and Lorde. It is certainly not a case of picking up where she left off for Allen, as she explicitly mentions that ‘the game is changing’ and she is ‘kind of scared’. Once seen as over-confident, Allen’s attitude seems somewhat challenged in ‘Sheezus’ and we get a glimpse of how vulnerable she can be through her songwriting.

One thing she is confident about is the love she has for her man. ‘L8 CMMR’ gives us an insight into their laid back relationship and from the not so cryptic song title, it is clear that she is more than happy with his bedroom skills. “My lover shoots and scores like he’s Maradona”. The light pop overtones are carried through in to ‘Air Balloon’ with simple handclaps and nursery rhyme, like lyrics. There are child friendly,pop-saturated vibes throughout, expletives aside.

An ode to Warren G’s ‘Regulate’, ‘Insincerely Yours’ is bursting with velvety swagger. Allen does what she does best and says it how it is. “Let’s be clear I’m here, I’m here to make money”. Allen didn’t have an underprivileged upbringing and in ‘Silver Spoon’, she unashamedly rants about her ten bedroom, Georgian house and butler. In the knowledge that Daddy’s money was her helping hand into fame, it makes you appreciate the not so well off artists, whose hard graft has earned them their well deserved recognition.

Without sounding too caustic, ‘Take My Place’ can be considered the diamond in the rough for ‘Sheezus’. It is a more epic insight into her personal life and documents her feelings around the time she miscarried her child. The personal verses allow you to really empathise with her.

Overlooking the tongue in cheek and the facetious foundations that the album is built upon, when she gets the bit between her teeth, Allen shows glimpses of being a relatively accomplished storyteller; despite the fact that she admits it is not her best effort. It is however still very much her style. And speaking of style, she no doubt prefers her Nike hi tops to her Louboutins.

Natasha Moran

Tash Moran

Tash Moran

Leicester based writer and photographer