Lily Allen

We Need to Talk About Jessie J and Our Irrational Pop Star Preferences

With a record-breaking six Top 10 singles from one album in her native UK, Jessie J is England’s answer to Katy Perry. Admittedly, that’s selling her short — her voice possesses Aguilera power and she writes her own material — but details are unimportant in the mud-pit wrestling match that is the female pop star gauntlet. The singer’s most successful American single to date, Top 10 hit “Domino,” is straight-up Teenage Dream Perry, down to its reference to skin-tight pants. “(Insert new singer) is like (insert established pop diva starting to show cracks/long past her prime) plus (insert another big pop star)”: this is the musical conversation pop stars get, despite the fact that pop hits are defined more by their songwriters and producers than their interpreters. The personality conversation is an even uglier scene, one in which stars are made and fade away. … Read More

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URL Badgirl: Lily Allen Has Become the Bloggers She Hates

While watching her new “URL Badman” video, I admitted something to myself: I like Lily Allen. It was a curious realization, since I’d never had a particularly strong reaction to her before, and even had trouble seeing what there was to love about her music. It isn’t especially danceable, nor is it usually heartbreaking (“Somewhere Only We Know” is a lovely exception); typically, the most extreme thing it’ll make you feel is “bouncy!” Some say Allen is likable because she’s an “unstoppable sass-fest” or something, but really, if I needed more sass in my life, I could lock myself in a room with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s That’s My Jam Core and the First Wives’ Club soundtrack (OK, maybe listening to a Lily Allen album is easier than that). But in trying to blog about the blogosphere-belittling video “URL Badman,” I’ve finally put my finger on what I like about Lily Allen: whether she knows it or not, she’s just trying to be a goddamn blogger. … Read More

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Menstruation Is Having a Pop-Culture Moment — And It’s About Time

A few years ago, I watched an all-female comedy group perform a joke about taking shots of cheap, watery Crystal Palace vodka from a menstrual cup. Maybe it was the inebriation of the audience or the small liberal arts school-ness of the crowd, but the joke sold. And I was kind of amazed. This was in the Vagina Monologues era of my college life, when I was heavily involved in my school’s feminist group, and even though we talked about Diva Cups as much as we blamed stuff on the patriarchy, I was quietly in awe of this offhand reference because it felt so normal. … Read More

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9 Films Passed the Bechdel Test So Far This Year: Links You Need to See

Lily Allen hosted her first ever Reddit AMA, and it had a little gem for Game of Thrones fans. Find out what the creepy fact is in today’s links! … Read More

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Rockism Isn’t Dead, It’s Hiding Behind a Need for Anti-Pop Stars

Late last week, Dave Grohl quietly took aim at music’s easiest target: pop stars. In the same breath that he lauded Lorde as the future of music, he juxtaposed his sentiments with a diss against “stripper pop.” The comment did not seem all that premeditated, but rather, a routine sentiment from someone who’s been a capital-R, capital G Rock Guy for a quarter of a century. But this pop “othering” is the new M.O. of rockism, and what’s behind the need to deem certain singers — from Lorde to Adele to Lily Allen to M.I.A. — the “anti-pop star.” … Read More

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Lily Allen: The Bitch Is Back… and She’s Gone a Little Soft

Stateside, at least, Lily Allen has always been dubbed the antithesis of whichever female pop star is most popular when she releases an album. It is exhausting stuff, I’d imagine, so much so that she wrote the title track of her new album Sheezus about such matters. Don’t let the title (or controversial first single “Hard Out Here”) fool you, though — Allen’s not out for blood with this record. … Read More

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The 10 Albums You Need to Hear in May

If you’re not listening to something new this May, do me a favor and ask yourself this: do you even like music? That’s how jam-packed the month is with new albums. It was difficult to pick just ten, so our “also out” section on the last page really is worth your time. Let’s start with the beginning of the month and work our way toward June.

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The 5 Best New Songs We Heard This Week: Lily Allen, Montreal Sex Machine

As much as I will be grooving alone to Giorgio Moroder’s long, dramatic remix of Coldplay’s “Midnight” all weekend, there’s better stuff for your ears this week. Some options: … Read More

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Lily Allen’s “Sheezus”: Feminist Anthem or Controversy-Courting Gimmick?

Lily Allen has proven herself to be a complicated artist in recent months. First there was her comeback single, “Hard Out Here,” which she dropped, along with a video, to much surprise. I immediately applauded the song itself, even enjoying aspects of the cheeky video, which seemed to reinforce what I loved about Allen when she released her debut in 2006. But the video caused controversy; was it making a statement about the current state of pop music, particularly the treatment of women within the genre, without recognizing the racist undertone in the way it depicted women of color twerking behind Allen? Months after the “Hard Out Here” controversy has died down, Allen has released the video for “Sheezus,” the title track of her new album, and it’s likely to cause a similar sort of debate.  … Read More

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