Lily Allen

Alright is a love-or-loathe proposition. Plenty of listeners will be enchanted by Allen's defiantly casual singing, cool-girl vocabulary, and taste for hybrid pop, while others are sure to find these attributes irritating in the extreme. As for the MySpace phenom in the spotlight, she doesn't appear to care what reaction she prompts — and such languid narcissism may be her finest quality. On the song "Smile," in which Allen dispenses revenge rhymes with flip flair rather than you-oughta-know intensity, she sets the scene lyrically as well as musically. Her highly processed blend of Brit-flavored ska, lite hip-hop, and quasi-soul is low in nutritional value, and filigree like the barrelhouse piano that opens "Knock 'Em Out" boasts all the authenticity of a Taco Bell gordita. Nevertheless the disc as a whole exudes the sort of fizzy fun exemplified by "Take What You Take," which features a Day-Glo melody and chipper yet snarky couplets such as "I didn't even ask for your advice/You wanna keep your mouth shut." Seldom has a self-centered put-down seemed so charming.


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