Written by Allison Lips
Lily Allen’s back with an album that’s not very different from It’s Not Me, It’s You. As with it’s predecessor, Sheezus overdoes the synthpop.
Sheezus is a good album, but every song on it was obviously created with radio play in mind. After a while, Allen’s latest effort becomes exhausting to listen to. Your best bet is not to play the album from beginning to end. Pick your favorite songs and buy those.
Even though Allen has point blank referred to “Hard Out Here” as “rubbish,” it’s the reason I decided to review the album. It was Sheezus’ first single, which was a gutsy move. The song blasts the double standard that is applied to male and female artists, which is what endeared it to me.
The only other songs that pick up where “Hard Out Here” left off is “Sheezus” and “Insincerely Yours.” Both songs diss pretty much everyone involved in the music business. Ironically, the pop divas she calls out in the song “Sheezus” are the exact artists that her songs should be played alongside. She also probably shouldn’t be insulting DJs in “Insincerely Yours” when they make up the majority of people who will be playing her club-friendly tracks.
When Allen isn’t spewing vitriol over catchy beats, her breezy vocals make electropop mind-numbing. Without anger and an agenda, Allen’s songs sound like they should be played at prom or were written so that they will make it onto the next Kids Bop compilation. “Our Time” and “Air Balloon” are the guiltiest of this.
Most of the songs are in her wheelhouse. Only twice does Allen venture outside her comfort zone with odd, but interesting results worth listening to. “As Long As I Got You” sounds like it could be on a Taylor Swift album, which is a nice change. Then, there’s “Close Your Eyes,” which takes all its cues from early-90s R&B influenced pop.
Sheezus would be a much more interesting record, if it took more risks. Instead, it comes across as a desperate attempt to get people to buy Allen’s music.