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5 out of 10
Second albums are always a troublesome task for artists and Allen's 'It's Not Me, It's You' seems to betray a lack of artistic navigation - at least as far as the singles coming from it are concerned.
While the humorous "Not Fair" was in the style of country and western "Twenty Two" has a waltzing ballad feel complete with both twinkly and honky tonk piano lines, moaning organ and finger snaps giving a steady groove. Lyrically it's the Story of a girl whose life has seemingly slipped through her fingers and at 30 society is telling her that her life is already over; in a dead end job, waiting for the man of her dreams to sweep away but instead gets loveless action from men never see's again.
The vibe seems similar to the desolate teenage wasteland spoken of in The Who's "Baba O'Reily", except instead of the derelict dystopia of 16 year old, it's the bleak grey of 30.
Yet there is something unmoving about this piece. While Lily's latest thing seems to be pop ballad's in a variety of style, each telling the story of various women unsatisfied with their life and their men, this one seems a little too predictable, a bit too much like a rather unbelievable background character from Eastenders. On the subject of single 30 year old females Allen stated, "It hits them that they’re not doing anything with their lives and it’s too late."
Maybe it's based on some truths but it just seems just a bit too much of a black and white stereotype to have a sad single woman who can only be made happy and seen as a social success with the aid of a man. Unless there is actually a scathing sense of irony and social criticism in there, its doubtful Ms. Allen will be invited to play any feminist benefit rallies In the near future.
Otherwise it's, well, Lily Allen, you either think she's a naff' chavette or a latter day diva. Whatever your opinion this single won't sway you in the opposite direction much.
1. Twenty Two
2. Twenty Two (Instrumental)