Lilly Allen – ‘The Fear’ (Regal, 26 Jan)
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.