25 September 2023

No Shame

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Lily Allen, Parlophone 2018.

No Shame is Lily Allen’s fourth album and it’s possibly the most personal that she’s produced.

I like Lily Allen’s work.

Her songs have been described as melancholic pop and her lyric content is usually rather introspective in nature. Often in contradiction to the happy pop melodies she writes.

This dichotomy is certainly the case with No Shame. In fact it’s highlighted on this disc.

Lily has worked with a series of high profile collaborators including Fryars, Mark Ronson, Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend), Burna Boy, P2J, and Cass Lowe to create the album.

She says that her aim was to make the album “as truthful as possible… I believe that we as humans work through things by talking about them, and that’s what making music is for me. It’s sharing things that you hope are going to connect with people.”

The album includes the lead single, Trigger Bang (featuring Giggs) as well as the two follow up releases, Three and Higher.

These tracks are a departure from the brash lyricism and sun-soaked melodies that Lily has become known for to a sparser sound that emphasizes her personal and insightful lyrics.

Not that she’s entirely abandoned her sunny disposition.

It emerges in songs like Your Choice (featuring Burna Boy) however overall there is a quieter and more thoughtful musical flavor to this album.

Some songs even come across as confessional.

It’s these tracks that interest me the most.

One of my favourites is Family Man. I think that it’s the standout track on the album.

“I know that I’ve been selfish but it’s not always easy being a family man but baby believe me I’m just doing what I can to get by.”

The track has the heightened sense of maturity that shines through most tracks on this album.

If you haven’t come across Lily Allen then I suggest you give this album a listen.

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