Is Lily Allen really all that and a bag of crisps?

Lily_lThe British are coming! The British are coming! Okay, well, it’s just one Brit—and she’s of a manageable size—but for anyone who follows the hype music industry these days, the release of Lily Allen’s Alright, Still yesterday completes the most fascinating rise to fame of any artist in recent memory. Her tracks leaked into the American consciousness early in 2006 via the magic of the Internets, and a mix tape thing she put up on her own site was in constant rotation in the Whitney offices for much of last summer. She’s spunky, she’s funky, she carries none of the obnoxious grandstanding habits of her fellow pocket-sized countrywoman Lady Sovereign despite being very much in charge of her own image (and not shy with opinions). Most telling fact on the buzzometer: Her debut album, Alright, Still was almost certainly the highest-ranking not-technically-released-in-the-U.S.-yet album on the critics’ year-end best lists for last year.

So the proof is in the Yorkshire pudding, and now we can all decide for ourselves whether she’s the second coming of the musical messiah or yet another talented act from across the pond doomed to spend eternity in the bargain bin with Robbie Williams. In my opinion, the sheer existence of "LDN"—a flouncy story-song about her hometown with a kick-ass reggae merengue sample that, yes, made my year-end best list—justifies my love, but I’m curious to hear what you kids think.

Stream the whole album here, watch this Chevy Sessions, and catch her on SNL this weekend. Then report back, and let me know if you’re ready to believe the hype or bring the [redacted] ruckus.

addCredit(“Lily Allen: Dave Hogan/Getty Images”)


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  • Ben

    I love Brit Pop, but I cannot stand Lily Allen. I heard of her when I was checking out the British charts, and she just grates on my nerves.

  • Justine

    I love love love Lily Allen. And Robbie Williams. And I’m American, go figure.

  • Rafael

    I live in UK and her singles (and album) they all sound the same… and her attitude can be sometimes rude. I mean you can speak your mind but dont have to be blunt or rude.

  • marykate

    She looks like my 7-year-old niece and it creeps me out a little bit.
    SMILE is an okay song. But I think it gets a little grating after a few listens though.

  • beb

    I love Robbie Williams…
    I love Girls Aloud…
    I’m starting to love Mika…
    Not a fan of Lily Allen…at all.

  • nathan

    She’s the greatest and maybe the best British import since the Arctic Monkeys and I will continue to think so for at least another hour or two.

  • Mak

    Her music rocks, but the hype machine is beginning to wear me out. I read on Pitchfork.com that her video where she pays a bunch of guys to trash her boyfriend’s house was one of the best of the year. Really? I wonder what you thought of “Since U Been Gone,” Pitchfork.com. But I digress. Her music is the real deal.

  • confidential

    I love the album. It’s the mindless dribble of a girl who doesn’t have anything profound to add but is asking and stating the proper angst and questions to become an aware adult. For a young girl to become a self actualized women you kind of have to get to a stage of pissed at the world for what you believe are the worlds lies.
    So many young pop singers out there have nothing to sing other than partying, looks, perceived joyously, yeah… pretty much nothing.
    I think she’s funny. Give here a chance… she on her way to becoming the artist whom ponders life’s profound issues.

  • dma69

    Hey, Whitney! Stop dissing Robbie Williams! He should be a star. Not his fault that American radio doesn’t play his music. His version of Angels is beautiful. Jessica Simpson ruined that song. Pick up The Ego Has Landed and judge for yourself.

  • dma69

    Hey, Whitney! Stop dissing Robbie Williams! He should be a star. Not his fault that American radio doesn’t play his music. His version of Angels is beautiful. Jessica Simpson ruined that song. Pick up The Ego Has Landed and judge for yourself.

  • timm

    I Think I’m in love.

  • sdr

    i discovered smile about 4 months ago and have been anxiously awaiting her album ever since. so far so good- much more poppy than my usual selections which is good b/c it gives me something fun to listen to. she’s a lot better than the “fergalicious” pop stars we are churning out, that’s for sure…

  • EP Sato

    Robbie Williams had a great track with “Millenium”, and did a fantastic cover of “saying something stupid like I love you”. On the flipside, Lady Sovereign was disapointing as a mofo, and only purchased because of EW’s recommendation. Thanks for NOTHING on that one man!

  • Caitlin

    mika stole my heart two weeks ago, but im pretty sure there’s room for lily- minus the “knock ‘em out”. call me crazy but the drums just didn’t go with the rest of the song.

  • JC

    I’ve had her album for months now *don’t ask how* and it really grows on you. First it’s just catchy and poppy, and then you start listening to the lyrics and it’s quite funny and witty.

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