(Regal Zonophone Records)
If I'm proud of OutsideLeft about anything, it's how the writers here are able to spot a trend 100-yards away, cherry-pick them out of obscurity, give it a quick write up and then put it on the shelf, forget all about it, only to wave our scepter over the next "Next Big Thing ¬©" we deem important.
We've called out loads of trends plenty of times before: The rise of the Artic Monkeys, the fall of the Artic Monkeys, the Pipettes, the standing silicon turkey baster-- I could go on...br />
Which brings me to Lily Allen, the ska-lite revivalist who's single-handedly turned even the bitterest hipster into gushing schoolgirls. Our
Naturally, this review is for our readers in the States as Allen's debut LP was released in the
The LP kicks off with Smile, a lovely summertime single aided by vintage Trenchtown-inspired piano riff by Jackie Mittoo of the Soul Brothers. It's the kind of track that an artist is rarely able to best, within the album or their career, but Allen follows up like a champ with "Knock 'em Out" and "LDN" (the latter gets treatment with a bouncy sample of "Reggae Merengue" written by Arthur "Duke" Reid.
And the tracks go on, each as adorable as the next. Even the last track on the
And that's really the only question with Allen's debut. Do old-timers like me only love "Alright, Still" because of all the trainspotter-eque samples and obscure references? Would I hate this LP if Allen and Co. (her production team, Future Cut) weren't as sincere about the music as they seem to be? Possibly.
This album truly is as close to perfect as it gets these days. It gives this chiseled old misanthrope optimism again-- sort of like the first time I heard the Cardigans before they got co-opted by top 40 when the film, "Romeo + Juliet " used "Lovefool." The rub is that the overuse of "Lovefool" turned every hipster off of the Cardies for years. Will the same happen to Lily Allen's who already has songs on the soundtracks of the worst show on television at the moment: "Grey's Anatomy."
Alarcon co-founded outsideleft with lamontpaul in 2004. His work for o/l has attracted the attention of hundreds of thousands of readers, oh and probably the fbi too.