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February music recommendations
It’s not you, It’s me
Regal Records, Capitol Records
The second album by Britain’s sassiest export is a great follow up to a surprisingly intuitive debut. I say surprisingly because if you look at the Lily Allen package, it’s not really one you would think capable of thoughtful, honest lyrics and courageous music.
Throwing public, booze fuelled insults at anyone and everyone, isn’t exactly the behaviour of a typical English rose, but seriously, who the %#[email protected] cares?
Lily Allen is one talented musician and she’s done an excellent job of maintaining the standard we’ve come to expect since her first crack at the can with
It’s not you, It’s me, doesn’t leap above the efforts of
Alright, Still but definitely maintains the status quo. Lyrically, you can tell that Lily is growing up, and her music is becoming more and more endearing and noticeably cheekier.
Check out track 3, ‘Not Fair’ a jaunty tune extolling the frustrations of an unsatisfying bedfellow. I would let you in on the actual lyrics but they’re a bit too raunchy for print! Ladies, this song is hilarious and sadly relatable. Things get inventive by track 4, ‘Never Gonna Happen’ with the inclusion of the accordion while Allen croons in her accented twang about a loser who just doesn’t get the hint. Particularly touching is song ‘He Wasn’t There’, written specifically for Allen’s pseudo famous father Keith Allen. It’s one of my favourite on the album but it was really hard to choose just one.
The album continues on an upward swing, chronicling Allen’s relationship challenges and triumphs over a bed of well produced beats and airy harmonies. Another triumph for the album is the video for the first released single ‘Fear’. Finally something not garishly tacky (what’s up Lady Gaga?) in the world of music video making. The only complaint I have goes to the track ‘22’, where Allen extols the heartache experienced by a woman whose life appears to be over by 30. I can’t blame Allen for thinking so, as a woman in her early 20’s, 30 seems like a life time away; but for those of us who have reached the milestone, we know the truth. Two word Miss. Allen: sexual peak.
If you like Lily Allen, you ‘ll like this album. If you don’t like Lily Allen, I would keep it to myself. If she catches wind, she won’t shy away from a battle.
2002, XL Recordings
My friend just gave me a ton of his music, and in the midst of perusing through dozens of new albums (otherwise known as utopia), I came across this. Who? Lemon Jelly. What? A UK duo consisting of Nick Franglen and Fred Deakin. Why on earth hadn’t I heard of them before? Too busy listening to 90’s dance hits in order to relive my teenage years.
The point is I missed the boat on this one when it first came out and I would be remiss, as a music writer, if I didn’t share with you the music of Lemon Jelly, specifically their softmore album,
Lost Horizons. Their most recent album is the critically acclaimed
’64-’95 from back in 2005 but I haven’t been able to stop listening to
Lost Horizons long enough to put it on. Something to look forward to during the long cold February nights! They won the 2003
Mercury Music Prize and a
BRIT Award for the now defunct "Best Dance Act" category in 2004. Amalgamating horns, harmonica, scratching, electronic and clever samples, it’s really hard to say what kind of music Lemon Jelly is. Some may go with trip hop, others with electronica but I ask you, what would you categorize music that’s right for exercising, chilling, partying and making out? I call it awesome. Gently sitting on the fence in between hardcore and heavenly, Lemon Jelly sound just like their name; sweet, delightful and kind of silly. ‘Nice Weather for Ducks’ and ‘Closer’ are my favourite tracks on the album get it off of amazon.com and let me know what you think! E-mail me @
Remind Me In 3 Days
I brought up The Knux in a quick ‘check it out’ segment a few months ago, but I now deem it necessary to give my full attention to these brothers from New Orleans. They’ve already received a bit of notice, having been featured in a promo for
Entourage and winning a spot on the
Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay soundtrack( a surprisingly good movie, even if you’re not a 16 year old boy). They’ve had numerous press, and now grace the pages of
It’s not for those who may be over sensitive to expletive lyrics, consider yourself warned, but they don’t do it in an offensive way, it’s actually clever. I really feel like there is a time and place for expletives and somehow The Knux can pull it off. That being said, these boys make hip hop ripe with heavy beats, and lush with astute rhymes. Krispy Kream and Rah Al Millio play their own instruments and prove that hip hop can be more than just…well, hip hop. Dropping in beats reminiscent of Prodigy, throwing in some human beat box and plenty of heady guitar riffs
Remind Me In 3 Days is a hodgepodge of hip hop excellence.
Check out ‘Bang Bang’, ‘The Train’ and ‘Life in a Cage’ to get the best off the album. Let me know what you think! Send me an e-mail at
[email protected] or make a comment below.