Lily Allen - Sheezus (Album Review)

Sheezus, She Is

First, let me be honest and say that I might be a bit biased because I truly like Lily Allen and have been waiting for her follow up to It's Not Me, It's You for quite a while now. I loved the humor and creativity in the lyrics on past releases, Alright, Still and It's Not Me, It's You, and also loved how sing-along-able those albums were. It takes real talent and something extra to get and keep my attention and Lily Allen has continued to do just that.

One aspect I liked about Alright, Still was the overall instrumental sound. It's Not Me, It's You ventured into more of an electropop sound and Sheezus continues with the electronic sound. While I do enjoy the newer sound, I must admit there was something special about the more reggae/ska sound of Alright, Still. But the lyrics and song depth of It's Not Me, It's You and Sheezus definitely show her maturation as an artist and she’s always found a way to blend her singing with the electropop sound.

Sheezus is a title you will either love or hate. It's tongue-in-cheek, which is much like Allen's usual lyrics and style. Of course it references Kanye West's Yeezus. It is her staking her claim as top-female and I think the album proves that she deserves to be top or very near it. My first intro to Sheezus was the video for the song "Hard Out Here" which might make some question that claim as she twerks along with backup dancers. However, I am choosing to take this as another example of her charming tongue-in-cheek antics and pure satire.

"Sheezus" starts the album with her making the clear demand, "Give me that crown, b****, I wanna be Sheezus". She calls out and/or shouts out to her competitors and announces that she is back, boxing analogy and all. "L8 CMMR" immediately makes me recall "Not Fair", a song from It’s Not Me, It’s You, that described a lazy lover and how he never cared or bothered to make her scream. That's clearly not the case with "L8 CMMR". I definitely recommend listening to both if you don't remember “Not Fair”. The chorus to "Air Balloon", the second single, is a bit slower compared to the first two fast-paced songs, but I can definitely see people dancing along to the upbeat end of the song and her call for the listener to "shake it". "Our Time" is an nod to dancing the night away with good friends. My only suggestion is that the toned down electropop song would be great for the end of the album because of tone and because after the upbeat, party of Sheezus we could have one more song because "we're going through, it's how we do, tonight we're taking over".

"Insincerely Yours" calls out the fakeness of social media and public appearances. "Take My Place" is a moving song about the loss of Allen's son. It's gut wrenching and I'm sure anyone can connect with this song if they've suffered a loss before. "As Long As I Got You" has an interesting sound. It almost seems to blend electropop with country/folk. It comes as an uplifting song after "Take My Place" and seems to once again credit her husband as a rock in her life. "Close Your Eyes" is a female's version of a "let's get it on" song. With this song and “L8 CMMR” I think it's safe to say that Allen has been happy while on her hiatus. "URL Badman" starts with a skit about Alexander, a guy who presumably still lives at home with his mom, and he is hastily typing his thoughts and opinions online. This song calls out trolls and names them what they think they are, broadband champions. She pokes fun at their stereotypical personas and perhaps shows what it is like to be on the receiving end of being taken as a stereotype only. "Silver Spoon" is a song about the preconceptions of her background, which it seems she shouldn't have to defend anymore since she's had so much success and is on her third album. "Life For Me" describes the restlessness of having everything you want and still wanting a bit more. "Hard Out Here", the first single, is pure Sheezus. Like I said above, this was the first video of the album and my intro to the album as well. Some people were angered by the video especially about the backup dancers. I think her line "And if you can't detect the sarcasm, you've misunderstood" best answers that outrage. She references inequality in the lyrics and I believe the video uses wit to criticize the behavior that those critics are accusing her of.

Overall, this is another win for Lily Allen both musically and lyrically. I am glad to see that she is still capable of creating great music. She continues to use wit and sarcasm to call things as she sees them. Now someone needs to answer her call and give her a crown. She’s Sheezus.

Review written by: LBurden

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