When I started hearing about her a couple of years back, I got a sense that I'd probably like her. But that first album just didn't do it for me. I've always had an aversion to ska, and that album was drowning in it.
The new album, however, is super bouncy. It's as if Lilly relocated from Jamaica to Northern Europe. Gone are the wobbly bass lines, replaced by lively keys and sprightly beeps. And maybe that's why it reminds me of Saint Etienne and Annie. It also reminds me of Kate Nash at times. (Funny how Lilly helped jump start Kate's career by linking to Kate's Myspace page. And then they had a spat, as if they were schoolgirls with a crush on the same guy. Now, Lilly sounds like Kate, instead of Kate sounding like Lilly. Strange. Might they start eating at the same lunch table again?)
I was at a Banana Republic over the weekend when I heard this catchy tune. I was surprised that BR was playing a song I liked that I didn't already own. (They tend to have a pretty good soundtrack going, actually. Saint Etienne and Phoenix seem to be staples.) If I had been at, say, anotheroom, I wouldn't have hesitated asking the bartender for the name of the song. But there was no way I was going to concede defeat by querying a BR clerk. I was troubled that the decision could mean that I'd never figure out the name of a song that I rather enjoyed, but I was prepared to live with that. Lo and behold, I wasn't punished for my stubborness! Lilly was on the Today Show Tuesday morning, and she performed the song I heard at BR -- "The Fear."
Man, that would've been damn shameful going up to a BR clerk to ask about a Lilly Allen song. Fortunately, I walked away with my dignity and still got the track name.