After bursting onto the scene with hit ‘Smile’ back in 2006 via debut album Alright, Still,and consolidating her reputation as pop’s First Lady of the Outspoken with 2009’s follow-up It’s Not Me, It’s You, Lily Allen is back with Sheezus.

A five-year musical hiatus that was initially a full-blown retirement saw Allen do some growing up, get married and have two kids. Gone are the days of party Allen – doting mother and happily married Allen has arrived in lieu, for the most part anyway. Singles such as ‘Hard Out Here’ and the title track have been well publicised, and for good reason; it seems as if Allen is trying too hard in parts here. Perhaps she’s worried that her talent alone isn’t enough to carry an album, and therefore relies on shock lyrics, pop culture references and a little too much Auto-Tune.

 

That said, there are some real quality pop songs to be found, especially if you let the music wash over you and don’t pay too much attention to the lyrics or the constant changes in style. ‘L8 CMMR’ shows how satisfied Allen is with the bedroom chops of her new hubby, ‘URL Badman’ tackles online trolls and ‘Insincerely Yours’ pokes fun at ungrateful artists who take fans for granted. 

 

A solid and fun release, even if it lacks any kind of cohesion.

 

3.5/5.

Sheezus out now through Parlophone / Warner

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