She’s Not The Messiah; She’s Just A Very Clever Girl.


She’s Not The Messiah; She’s Just A Very Clever Girl.
Lily Allen. Sheezus.

It took longer than three days, but Lily Allen is back. As resurrections go, it hasn’t been easy as the voice of one generation tries to find her own with another. There’s been frustration from all camps. Artist, label, fan, critic, and those simply aware. Frustration before the albums release, before the live return. Now that Sheezus is out there, does anyone still care?

Sheezus isn’t the most coherent of albums. There’s no unifying theme at the heart of the album, to keep the listener grounded. The ideas may be muddled, but they’re potent as Lily Allen tackles the industry that almost destroyed her and the man that saved her. These two targets define the album, and set the conflicting tones of anger and happiness.

The songs that deal with her personal life use the past to present the present.
There’s the ska bounce of Life For Me. The country swing of As Long As I Got You. While the attack of the industry takes modern day pop, with it’s minimalist murmurs and over the top breakdowns, and twist them to make statements of irony and intent. The title track with its critique of gender led competition and an ode to the keyboard warrior on URL Badman.

Live, these styles make for a jarring performance, as Lily Allen jumps between inciting a rave and trying to get her voice, and the message across. The pace is fast, with the change in velocity forcing attention.This engagement is constant. From addressing the naysayers with a video backdrop that wrestles with images of motherhood and media, and then marrying them, to Lily Allen herself, who has lost none of her endearing sense of self. As she leads the room in a rousing rendition of ‘Fuck You’ during the encore, middle-aged women flip the bird. Not only has Lily Allen kept that youthful rebellion, she now inspires it in others.

It’s an exciting trait, especially with tracks like Hard Out Here and Sheezus. Gender equality does not exist in the music industry. It’s blatant yet ignored. Change starts with conversation, and that’s what Lily Allen has done since her return. There’s no arduous debate though, or manifesto of change. Sheezus is a placard, armed and dangerous. The bitch of Sheezus is pointed, but by Hard Out Here it’s lost all impact through repetition. There’s a twinkle in the eye of delivery.

You should care that Lily Allen is back. Sheezus is excitement over refinement and the live show proves that Lily Allen is taking this comeback seriously, even if her tongue rarely leaves her cheek. It’s a muddled, jarring knot of styles and ideas, but even this serves a purpose. It creates a sense of unease. It forces attention. And for the first time in a long while, pop music is genuinely exciting. All hail Sheezus.


~ by justdip on 12/05/2014.

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