“Sheezus” Proves Lily Allen’s Edge Is Sharp As Ever

Jamie Nelson/Warner Bros. Records

Lily Allen
Warner Bros.

Sheezus cover

Good news: Motherhood and five years off the scene have not dulled Lily Allen’s edge. The sharpest tongue in British music continues to call out poseurs and phonies on this bracing third album, and Allen doesn’t spare herself. She acknowledges her own vulnerabilities and contradictions for all the world to hear. Collaborating again with producer and co-writer Greg Kurstin, Allen specializes in barbed observations wrapped in catchy electro-tinged pop, mocking self-aggrandizing attitudes on the title track, taunting bloggers in “URL Badman” (“When I’m a big boy I’m going to write for Vice“), and taking down celebrity preening on “Insincerely Yours” (“We’re all here coz the price is right”). Getting personal on the straight-talking love song “As Long as I Got You,” she sings sweetly: “Staying home with you is better than sticking things up my nose.” If Allen occasionally seems too focused on the rampant absurdities of junk culture, she’s still a smart, deceptively sophisticated artist—and never, ever boring.