British pop provocateur Lily Allen shocked her fans on March 10.
Allen is known as the type to throw curveball comments around in the media — she is particularly notorious for her wild antics during her pink wig phase. Recent remarks by the pop star have caused the stir fans have come to expect.
In response to a comment from a fan on Twitter that her new songs were “docile pop rubbish,” Allen proved candid.
“What you heard so far yes,” Allen tweeted in response. “All I can do is do my best, the labels and the radio stations won’t play the better stuff.”
This remark is the latest in a series of comments that have been discussed in the press and debated across the blogosphere.
Allen’s music video for the song “Hard Out Here” drew controversy for its edgy commentary about race and sex in pop music. She also sparked a dialogue for her alleged remarks in an interview where she questioned whether the feminist movement is necessary in this day and age. Allen later said these comments were misinterpreted, and she was not disparaging feminism in the least.
But Allen’s latest comment, the tweet putting down her own music, is particularly shocking. How often is it that we hear a pop star who will openly bash her own current singles?
The remark comes at an interesting moment for Allen. While she has attracted buzz for her comments as per usual, her music itself has not earned the universal praise to which Allen has become accustomed.
Meme-worthy as the “Hard Out Here” video may have been, the song’s message feels wishy-washy compared to Allen’s usual brand of blunt — even vulgar — honesty. It is clear that the song is meant as a statement on how difficult it is for women to be successful in the music industry, but considering her discography, that is not a new proclamation from Allen.
“Hard Out Here” presents a sentiment that many people can agree with — that the entertainment industry is tough on women.
Allen’s better moments have been those in which she nails a thought that fans could sympathize with, but few could express. Where is the Allen who, in her song “Smile,” openly expressed joy at an ex’s emotional agony — the one who said, “When I see you cry it makes me smile”?
Apart from “Hard Out Here,” Allen’s recent tracks have seemed to come from a shadow of her former self. Where the “mockney” drawl of past albums “Alright, Still” and “It’s Not Me, It’s You” was instantly distinctive, her sound on new tracks have mainly drawn comparisons to other artists, like M.I.A.
It remains to be seen what Allen has in store with regard to her latest LP, “Sheezus.” As tends to be the case with the unpredictable Allen, the future is anyone’s guess.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, March 12 print edition. Jake Folsom is music editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.