It’s been a long five years since Lily Allen’s last album ‘It’s Not Me, It’s You’ and ‘Sheezus’ is quite the exciting sequel.
Whilst ‘It’s Not Me…’ focused on Lily’s desire for the normal life, ‘Sheezus’ revolves around her fulfilling her dreams of marriage and kids yet still longing for the limelight.
Thankfully, despite her long absence, Lily is still a lyrical whizz. Her words are her voice, her style. She seamlessly melds pop and R&B with lyrics that are both general and deeply personal.
The title track and first single ‘Hard Out Here’ is a shout out to the industry she once left behind as she struggles to make sense of where she stands now. ‘Hard Out Here’ also deals with poor body image, previously seen on 2009’s ‘The Fear’. Lily tackles the topic with great gusto; seemingly secure enough in her own skin to not let it get her down.
She even manages to elbow some insecurity into the otherwise romantic slow jam ‘Close Your Eyes’ as she croons ‘I know I’ve left myself go’ in the first verse.
Elsewhere ‘URL Badman’ and second single ‘Air Balloon’ deal with the notion of ‘haters’ and Lily’s desire to rise above them.
Our favourite track is probably ‘Insincerely Yours’ with its silky vocals, wisecracking lyrics and 90s R&B backing track.
A Lily Allen album wouldn’t be complete without an overarching idea to bring it all together. In the case of ‘Sheezus’, it is overwhelmingly clear that it is of Lily being thankful for her husband and daughters.
‘As Long As I Got You’ and ‘Life For Me’ seem to be the answer to the pleas posed in ‘Who’d Have Known’ and ‘Chinese’ whereas ‘L8 CMMR’ is quite the antithesis to previous hit ‘Not Fair’.
As a whole, ‘Sheezus’ is a perfect portrait of Lily Allen in this very moment. Each song paints another layer of Lily as an artist, wife and person, stronger from her past and grateful for her present.
Download: L8 CMMR, Insincerely Yours, Hard Out Here.