This might be the worst time in history to brag about bling, but it’s still a cool novelty when a potty-mouthed, 5-foot-2 Brit does it. Yeah, Lily Allen still doesn’t give a fuck. The first single on her totally knowing new album is called “The Fear,” and it starts with a flourish worthy of Lil’ Kim: “I wanna be rich/And I want lots of money/I don’t care about clever/I don’t care about funny/I want loads of clothes/And fuckloads of diamonds/I heard people die/While they’re trying to find them.”
This song isn’t meant to be taken seriously any more than, say, MGMT’s “Time to Pretend” is. (We’re pretty sure Allen knows that the pound and euro aren’t exactly strong right now.) It’s a tongue-in-cheek tune about shallowness and hollow fame and chasing the wrong things. And while lots of the lounge crowd might get it, and lots of the bottle-service crowd certainly won’t, both groups should love it—because this song, like so many on the album, bounces and grooves and sounds like Allen is both taking us back in time and showing us something brand new. Thanks to Lily Allen, the idea of Broadway show tunes with uncensored hip-hop lyrics now seems like the most obvious one ever.
“Not Fair” is the best song ever written about a guy who can’t make his lady climax. “Never Gonna Happen” is a frank, brutal breakup song with an accordion-and-handclap opening that spirals into a boisterous, swingy chorus. Clever, but not too precious.
Allen isn’t one to hold her tongue, and she’s reserved her choicest insults for George W. Bush. Allen sings “Fuck You” like it’s some sort of twisted Sesame Street lullaby while she drops bombs like “You’re just some racist/Who can’t tie my laces/Your point of view is medieval.” Nobody’s ever made the words “Fuck you very much” sound so gleeful, and this is Allen at her most sincere.