1. Everyone's At It
2. The Fear
3. Not Fair
5. I Could Say
6. Back To The Start
7. Never Gonna Happen
8. F**k You
9. Who'd Have Known
12. He Wasn't There
* Personnel: Greg Kurstin (keyboards, bass guitar).
* Audio Mixer: Greg Kurstin.
* Audio Remasterer: Geoff Pesche.
* On her 2009 sophomore album, IT'S NOT ME, IT'S YOU, feisty English pop singer Lily Allen sticks with the strengths of her lauded debut, presenting a collection of songs lined with biting lyrics and catchy pop hooks. While Allen tones down the heavily accented British-isms found on ALRIGHT, STILL, she amps up both atmosphere and melody, resulting in "The Fear," a sweeping synth-pop number, and the dreamy "Who'd Have Known," both of which are enhanced by producer Greg Kurstin (The Bird and the Bee). Those concerned that Ms. Allen might be getting too refined can take comfort in the sassy (and slightly twangy) "Not Fair" and the cheerily aggressive "F**k You," tracks that reveal that, although she has matured, the cheeky vocalist isn't completely ready to play nice just yet. Though artists such as Katy Perry and Lady Gaga have circled Allen's turf, IT'S NOT ME proves that the petite performer can ably defend her territory.
Rolling Stone (p.63) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t sounds fantastic. With producer Greg Kurstin at her side, Allen has gotten more musically eclectic, jettisoning the thumping rock-steady of ALRIGHT, STILL without sacrificing catchiness or dance-floor bounce."
Spin (p.78) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "IT'S NOT ME, IT'S YOU dials down the sass in favor of sincere self-reflection and a greater grasp of morning-after consequences."
Entertainment Weekly (p.54) - "[H]er most wounded musings are paired with serious hooks....She pokes excellent fun at her own material-girl id on 'The Fear'..." -- Grade: B+
Billboard (p.37) - "Allen is probably better (and funnier) detailing her disdain for the party scene than she was describing her love of it."
Q (Magazine) (p.92) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Allen keeps it reliably real. Music's a richer place for her telling it as it is."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.108) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he centrally heated electro-pop of 'Chinese' describes the coupled-up joy of TV and a takeaway, while Allen's voice breaks into a genuine smile on 'Who'd Have Known'..."
Blender (Magazine) (p.60) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "She offsets an assault of cheekiness with confessions so intimate, they could have been drafted during an A.A. meeting."
Pitchfork (Website) - "This is perceptive pop for a consumer culture OD'ing on consumer culture and Houdini investments....Her plight -- bare, self-conscious, petty, fearful -- is familiar."
Clash (magazine) (p.101) - "IT'S NOT ME IT'S YOU is a dangerously likeable shift for the girl who continues to wear her heart in her songs....Britain's mouthy pop-idol returns triumphantly and with the brawny guts to stick with what she knows best."
This is a supremely average record, which, when dealing with Lily Allen's completely solipsistic styling, shouldn't be altogether surprising (pardon the cynicism/realism), but i had my hopes raised by those who did enjoy the listen. While she HAS definitely improved from past abhorrences, her pop provisions are a little ranty and hint at the fact that she desperately needs a new take on the rest of the world. I do understand the irony of complaining about someone else complaining but as a reviewer it is my pleasure to ward you away from this purchase. Beware! Careful when buying this album.
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