Monday, April 16, 2007

Five Questions with Jen: Lily Allen - Alright, Still

Excuse me for gushing, but my girlfriend Jen finally bought an album that doesn't make me wretch. Our musical tastes diverge quite a bit, and although she's tolerant of my stuff (and even likes some of it), I have trouble swallowing her music. I'm a snob and she's a top 40 girl.

But a few weeks ago, Jen bought the new Lily Allen - and I really dig it. So I sat down with Jen (okay, we did this via email) and asked her about the album.

1. First off, who the heck is Lily Allen and what is Alright, Still? And is it any good?

Sorry, I still don't know that much about Lily Allen. I could have done some research, and I really meant to, but it felt too much like homework and I am going to have a lot of that to do come September, and I don't plan on starting a minute earlier.

I was introduced to her one Saturday night as I was watching SNL, not something I normally watch but I was up waiting for a certain person (more on that later; see my answer to question No. 3), and I needed a distraction, even a bad one, at the moment. While watching the show I thought I found something new -- me, finally, finding something different and interesting in music!

I could not wait to share that with others, especially the ones that tell me I need to find some new music, but when I went to tell my sister she said that Lily Allen was old news and I was still "behind the times". That did not change my opinion of the album, however. I can relate to many of the songs. I think most people, especially women, but also those in and out of relationships, having to go to clubs to meet people, or still young enough or possibly optimistic enough to find good things in not-so-great situations can relate, too.

2. The album is hip-hop, is it not? Records I Buy doesn't really dig hip-hop but it likes this album. Is it because we're elitist (it's European!) or are we outright racists (she's white!)?

(No answer.)

3. Let's talk about the first track, 'Smile'. Might you have a story about that song? Perhaps about a boyfriend going out drinking and not calling? How was that song helpful?

Smile was the song I saw performed on SNL. It's about a girl whose relationship ends because the guy is a schmuck (aren't they all;) and now she wants to see him hurt. I took it to mean emotionally hurt, unlike the video (which takes on another form of hurting that I could get behind for the right person, or should I say If the right person did something to deserve it). The video is posted below.

Anyway, the song is a great break-up song, or at least a great "revenge" song and at the moment I was watching it, that felt like something I needed to hear ... posssibly because a certain boyfriend stayed out all night long drinking with his buddies and not bothering to call to let his girlfriend know how late he was going to be. Or maybe it was another reason, and perhaps the first one was just an example -- because, as you all know, MY boyfriend would NEVER do something like that. He is way too thoughtful.

4. Do you have another favorite song on the album? What do you like about it?

My other favorite song is Knock 'Em Out. This song is for any person, guy or girl, who has been hit on by someone that they are just not interested in, and that person will not take the hint. I am sure that everyone has had this happen at least once in their lives. I was usually too nice and would get stuck talking to that particular person.

The main character in this song would not have stood for it. She had some great excuses that I may want to keep on file for future use, such as, " Nah I've got go cuz my house is on fire".

5. If you had to sum up your impressions of this album in one illustrative vocabulary word - a la Record I Buy reviews - what would that word be?


All in all, I may not have been the first to discover her, but I am glad that I did. Now I have music that is included on the "2007 playlist".


craig said...

dude it isnt hip hop

Anonymous said...

Lily Allen is daughter of Keith Allen, a well-known actor who specialises in villans. Craig is right (hi craig if you are london craig), it is not hip hop. It's part of a genre including corrine bailey rae, amy winehouse, etc that are very popular in the uk right now.

Matthew said...

If it's not hip-hop, what is it exactly? Because Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen are very different. Winehouse is a contemporary Motown-like crooner/copycat, who would fall squarely in the R&B category. I could see characterizing Lily as "pop" and lumping Winehouse in there, too, since it is such a broad category. Otherwise, I think Allen and Winehouse make very different music. Just because they're British and popular doesn't mean their styles are one and the same.

Matthew said...

and yes, before anyone says it, labels are for canned food.

Anonymous said...

Actually, labels are for TINNED food. :)

I will answer more later...