Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

London Calling

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

London Calling

Article excerpt

Alright, Still

* Lily Allen * Capitol

If you haven't heard the buzz about Lily Allen yet, one can only assume you're still living in the dark ages of DOS prompts and dial-up. Since she started posting songs on her MySpace page in November 2005, the 21-year-old Londoner has racked up over 5 million listens. Her first single, "Smile," ruled U.K. airwaves last year, while the debut album, Alright, Still, entered the charts at number 2.

So what's all the fuss about? Plenty, as American record buyers can now finally discover. Allen knows exactly what makes a song catchy, and she ensures that nearly every cut on the vibrant Alright, Still is sing-along ready. Her arrangements are distinctly 21st-century compositions, borrowing the shiniest bits and pieces from various genres. Its predominant bouncy reggae rhythms and skanking brass will appeal to the No Doubt set, but there's also jacked-up EZ listening like the delightful "Everything, s Just Wonderful" (and, no, it isn't), as well as soft rock and lurching jazz.

But Allen's hyperliterate lyricism is the corker. …

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