Lily Allen Alright, Still

Lily Allen Alright, Still
Photo: Derrick Santini
Lily Allen is that rare kind of much-buzzed pop act, one whose charm and appeal goes beyond the one-liner used to sum up her "buzzworthiness”: a profane, vindictive pop singer with a Skittles-sweet voice armed with an album full of potential summer jams. Oh, and she came in riding a wave of Gen Y-friendly from-the-internet-up MySpace hype. But Allen is worthwhile not just because of that rap sheet (which laid out that way, doesn’t look too bad), but because of the strength of most of the songs on her debut Alright, Still. After all, the dichotomy between upbeat, sweetly sung tunes and bitter words is nothing particularly new, but Allen breezes through the album with acid-tongued glee, only very occasionally venturing into the territory of smug cleverness. The comparisons to the Streets are inevitable and somewhat deserved; Allen isn’t a rapper (though Mike Skinner isn’t much of one either), but she shares Skinner’s affinity for making a mountain out of a molehill and making it interesting. The music is super-shiny, but diverse and creative with a bit of an experimental streak (relatively speaking), a pretty perfect soundtrack for her kiss-offs, observations and poison darts. Allen’s got charisma for miles, enough of it to offset her occasional brattiness. But it’s her songs that validate her hype. (Eagle Rock)