Released: 9th February 2009.
In the time between the release of 2006's mega selling debut "Alright, Still" and now, the transition of Lily Allen has been an interesting one to watch. When she was first launched, she was the pop-star who was an anti-pop-star, outspoken and dismissive of her contemporaries on her MySpace blogs, and all amidst a plethora of retro ska sounding tracks, with Mark Ronson at the helm, about London in summer and how to get revenge on an ex-boyfriend.
Two years, a bit more public feuding, tabloid grabbing debacles involving dying of hair colour and flashing of lady parts and a mildly successful BBC chat show later, she's matured into a more guarded and introspective kind of girl, which is perhaps nowhere more evident than on her second album, "It's Not Me, It's You". This time shifting away from the sound of album one that helped open the door for the likes of Duffy, Adele and Kate Nash in favour of a more dance vibe via Greg Kurstin (All Saints, Kylie, Sophie Ellis-Bextor), it does however still manage to maintain Lily's status as a lady who isn't afraid to speak her mind when it comes to the music.
Which is why we have songs as cracking and dead on the mark as "Not Fair", a tale of indecision over giving an unstable lover a chance, and the opening track, "Everyone's At It", a sort of anti-drugs song that wonders when people will "tire of putting s*** up their noses". Her presence is even stronger on tracks like her No. 1 "The Fear" where, even though she berates the celebrity culture that she feels "taken over by", it doesn't feel like a whiny diatribe from say, Paris Hilton or similar. The perkiness of the song acts as a great paradox to the song's more thoughtful message about a necessary evil, making it one of the standouts on here.
There are however, some sunnier moments on this album, such as the delightful love at first sight number, "Who'd Have Known", which, if you can get past the fact it borrows very heavily from Take That's "Shine", is possibly her sweetest, most clutter free offering to date since "Littlest Things". Whilst the harsh and fickle world of celebrity may have pacified her somewhat, this terrific album is testament to why she needs to be remembered for what she's best at doing. She may be a famous entity, but Lily Allen will always be a musician first.