14 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Lily Allen has always been one of pop’s most absorbingly forthright stars. But the singer herself now criticizes her third album, 2014’s Sheezus, for lacking that honesty, telling Vulture.com that she was “writing music for people’s expectations rather than for me.” Follow-up No Shame redresses the balance by reflecting on her recently revealed divorce, parenthood, and the celebrity lifestyle with startling candour. Cloaked in dancehall-mottled pop and emotive balladry, her lyrics remain pin-sharp, evoking the scrutiny and isolation of fame: “If you go on record, saying that you know me/Then why am I so lonely?/’Cause nobody f*cking phones me” (“Come On Then”). Lily’s clearly experienced difficult times, but they’ve helped inspire her most revealing album yet—and she still finds galvanizing energy in new love (“Pushing Up Daisies”) and the fight against the patriarchy (“Cake”).

EDITORS’ NOTES

Lily Allen has always been one of pop’s most absorbingly forthright stars. But the singer herself now criticizes her third album, 2014’s Sheezus, for lacking that honesty, telling Vulture.com that she was “writing music for people’s expectations rather than for me.” Follow-up No Shame redresses the balance by reflecting on her recently revealed divorce, parenthood, and the celebrity lifestyle with startling candour. Cloaked in dancehall-mottled pop and emotive balladry, her lyrics remain pin-sharp, evoking the scrutiny and isolation of fame: “If you go on record, saying that you know me/Then why am I so lonely?/’Cause nobody f*cking phones me” (“Come On Then”). Lily’s clearly experienced difficult times, but they’ve helped inspire her most revealing album yet—and she still finds galvanizing energy in new love (“Pushing Up Daisies”) and the fight against the patriarchy (“Cake”).

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