Lily Allen’s It’s Not Me, It’s You is a big album. It’s full of big hooks, big statements, and buckets of charm. The only thing smaller this time around is Lily herself. Alright, Still was a particular statement made by a particular girl. She sang about whatever she wanted, no matter how flimsy the source material, and threw influences together as she pleased. On It’s Not Me, It’s You Lily is conscious of her audience and aims to engage us in discourse. The lyrics are still sharp, although more careful than before; she no longer sounds like a scrappy Briton but for her accent. The hip-hop stylings are all but removed and replaced with a straight-arrow Beatlesque kitsch, most notably on “Fuck You,” an anti-GWB rant that’s pop perfection and only suffers from horrible timing. Only “Never Gonna Happen” could blend in among the tracks on Alright, Still.
Sometimes she oversteps her reach, as on “Him,” in which her good intentions don’t soften the thud of half-baked “deep thoughts” that she’s just not old or experienced enough to expound upon meaningfully. That’s the only groaner of the bunch, and the tune is still awfully good. “The Fear” and “I Could Say” show Lily successfully inhabiting a more mature pop landscape, but the winner here is “Who’d Have Known”, in which she sings about the boring, mundane, absolutely wonderful things that color the beginning of a new relationship. It’s goofy and inconsequential but also completely brilliant, like Lily herself.