During the two years that have passed since she released her debut album, Alright, Still, Lilly Allen has been repeatedly and relentlessly plastered on the glossy and not-so-glossy pages of gossip magazines up and down the land. No surprises then that ‘The Fear’ – the first single to be taken from her forthcoming second album, It’s Not Me, It’s You – deals with fame and the cult of ‘celebrity’.
“I want to be rich and I want lots of money / I don’t care about clever, I don’t care about funny” Allen sings in gloriously sickly-sweet deadpan in the first verse, and “I’m not a saint and I’m not a sinner / But everything’s cool as long as I’m getting thinner” towards the end of the track. There are a fair few dud couplets in the mix – take “Life’s about film stars and less about mothers / It’s all about fast cars and cussing each other”, for example – but Allen’s light-hearted digs at celebrity culture hit the mark more often than not.
It’s an understated record for the most part, with a stripped-back guitar picking pattern and uncomplicated drums providing backing in the verses, but the track swells into life during the choruses: shimmering synths and electro-pop bleeps lift a melody that proves to be just as infuriatingly catchy as ‘Smile’ of two years ago. Expect to have this one stuck in your head for the foreseeable future.