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'Sheezus'


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By Dane McDonald



Lily Allen has always had something interesting to say. Ever since her debut album, “Alright, Still,” dropped in 2007, the British bad girl has been spewing insults that sound rightly sweet over ska-tinged pop melodies.

Whether she’s talking about her ex-boyfriend’s small manhood or telling George W. Bush to fuck off, girlfriend does it with a wink and a smile.

In her first studio album in five years, Allen still has the same kitschy faux-pop aura, favoring everything from thumping club beats on single “Hard Out Here” to silly country throw downs on “As Long as I Got You.”

But on this go around, things feel especially tongue-in-cheek. What else can one expect from an album entitled “Sheezus,” an obvious jab at Kanye West.

The title track, in which Allen name-drops all the pop lady divas from Katy Perry to Lorde, is a particular highlight featuring low-whirring sirens and a slow M.I.A-esque beat. Allen croons in light of all the other divas, she wants to wear the crown and be “Sheezus.”

But be warned. As Allen sings in “Hard Out Here,” “If you can’t detect the sarcasm, you’ve misunderstood.”

It’s not that Allen is purposely dissing all those other successful women, though lyrics like “We’re all watching Gaga, LOLO HAHA” are pretty brilliant. She’s pointing out the music landscape in which females are pitted against each other to release the No. 1 single.

She makes a similar point on “Hard Out Here,” in which she asks, “Don’t you want somebody who objectifies you? Have you thought about your butt? Who’s gonna tear it in to?”

Allen also peppers her album with adorable pop ditties like “L8 CMMR,” an ode to her “bad motherfucker” of a husband, and “Close Your Eyes.” It’s these album middle tracks that remind you what a lovely lyricist Allen was and continues to be.

And if you forgot what a gorgeous voice she has, her cover of Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know” is a bonus track. Her airy yet controlled vocals may not be anywhere near the powerhouse level of Beyonce or P!nk, but they’re refreshing in our current auto-tune friendly landscape.

Allen may not top the charts like the ladies she mentions in “Sheezus,” but she still deserves to wear a crown of her own.

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