Originally published in Qmunicate Magazine, September 2014.
Claiming her latest album title as ‘an homage’ to Kanye West – reach your own conclusions – Lily Allen has been all about making statements since her recent comeback. Unfortunately, on ‘Sheezus’, her messages tend to be lost amidst the subpar execution.
The title track and its positively novel chorus strike the listener as a nursery rhyme for those clinging desperately to relevancy. ‘Air Balloon’ is a high point but falls a little too close to being a M.I.A. tribute for Allen to score any points for originality. Lily shines most when she stops aiming for wit over honesty; ‘Take My Place’ is refreshing and ‘As Long As I Got You’ is delightful. ‘URL Badman’ and ‘Hard Out Here’ are both examples of a legitimate point being there to be made, but some lines are misguided at best (‘I don’t need to shake my ass for you ‘cause I’ve got a brain’, anyone?) ‘Close Your Eyes’ is an almost addictive listen, as long as you’re not looking for subtlety.
‘Sheezus’ marks a maturing in Allen’s sound, singles aside, yet retains her signature sense of fun – something which serves the album well as it acts to flow the varying styles together. The latter half of the album is markedly stronger than the first, but what Lily has delivered tends to be largely disposable.