Lily Allen is repenting for the hard-partying hedonism and in-your-face ubiquity of her early career by showing us her serious side.
This means dressing in black and getting an Emily the Strange haircut. And bringing in Greg Kurstin and ditching the lover's rock for soft electro-pop that sounds like Moby with a headache. On "Everyone's at It" she admits, "I get involved but I'm not advocating". On "The Fear" she has the nerve to attack the shallowness of celebrity excess, singing, over descending "Dear Prudence" chords, "I want to be rich and I want lots of money/I don't care about clever I don't care about funny..." It's all hedged with a knowing wink: she knows we know she is that person. When she isn't having it both ways, she's indulging in self-obsessed emotional catharsis regarding her ex ("I Could Say"), her sister ("Back to the Start") and her dad ("He Wasn't There"). The anti-bigotry message of "Fuck You" is laudable and uncharacteristic, being the only time Lily Allen averts her gaze from her own navel.
Pick of the album : Very, very much: 'Fuck You'