Lily Allen

No Shame

Warner Bros.

Jun 12, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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In ways similar to Kate Nash, fellow Londoner Lily Allen woos us with her spry indie pop and cheeky brashness, often teetering on the edge between rock and pop, and just as often appealing to both audiences. Unfortunately her fourth album, No Shame, has fallen off the edge, landing squarely on the pop side, and losing her dual-sided appeal as a result.

Gone are the adventurous and playful arrangements and catchy pop hooks; replaced instead with slower tempos, sparse arrangements, and clicky, electronic beats. Except for an occasional stripped down Reggae/Calypso vibe, the music is lacking in melody, relying on Allen's sweet, accented voice to provide it. But even the usually gripping vocals are dampened by the use of Auto-Tune.

The songs are pleasant enough but are straightforward and lack bite, often coming off as cloy while trying to be clever. Cases in point are "Apples" and album closer "Cake." Instead of glib lyrics about topical subject matter, the former's chorus is a repetitive refrain of "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree," while the latter repeats the age-old adage "have your cake and eat it." Proving Allen has no shame lowering the bar to produce sub-standard pop lyrics.    

No Shame is not a complete waste of time though. "Trigger Bang" (featuring Giggs) and "Waste" (featuring Lady Chann) are both bouncy tunes with bits and pieces of various rock genres merged with a sassy attitude and recapitulated into fresh sounding pop. Giving us what is expected from a new Lily Allen release. 

But over the course of the whole record, the lethargic tempos, lack of style, and the uninspired songwriting become a bit tiring. So the album as a whole is a disappointment for someone with so much talent and potential. (www.lilyallenmusic.com)

Author rating: 3.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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