The Skinny: I’m glad Ms. Allen is not my ex-GF, but I kinda dig her 3rd-wave ska, teen-dance-club grooves. “Smile” was the lead single, but she’s only begun with the sick burns on that track. Keep listening, because this is what your super-cool, witty & charming significant other will say about you when you’re exes. (I want to hear Lilly read that last line…)
Sounds like: Specials, No Doubt, English Beat, Dido, Arctic Monkeys, Peter Tosh, Liz Phair, Adam Ant
Deeper Thoughts: Alright, Still… will not stop until you have been charmed by its wit and lady’s room dishing. The irony is thick and cheeky, and the potty mouth oh-so-naughty on this “explicit edition.” Lilly Allen was the poster girl for MySpace, and as far as I know she’s still a sexy, bitchy, plucky, relentlessly British purveyor of London street pop. On this disc, it’s all about conversational rapping over attention-deficit backing tracks — and anyone is liable to be stabbed by the fork in her tongue. These songs will stick in your teeth like Laffy Taffy with four charting singles: “Smile” (US #49), “LDN” (UK #6), “Littlest Things” (UK #21), and “Alfie” (UK #15). A perfect jukebox filler.
The Sonics: Listening to the disc was not much more satisfying than the streaming ear-bud experience. Not surprising since many of these tracks got their initial exposure streaming on MySpace. This track-based project featuring multiple producers feels like a remix collection and lacks a unified sonic character. There is a lot of variation, depending on who’s sitting in the control room. The whole thing is pretty bubble-gum with some fun sounds and lots of winks to the sonic tradition of Jamaican reggae and ska. Tons of reverb on the guitars. Bass is a bit too punchy at times and tended to fuzz out on my car stereo. In fact, the record was cited in several publications as a prime offender in the “loudness wars.” The mixes are more enjoyable on head phones, because there is a lot going on here.