Last summer, Lily Allen and her saucy lips took over the UK airwaves with "Smile," a reggae sun-splash of Jackie Mittoo samples, slick mixing and Allen's flirty vocals. Sugary and sweet in song, but a bit gnarlier in the press, the 21-year-old Allen became all the rage in a bitstream instant, leaving the blogger elite drooling for her self-styled dance pop-rock, a sound also happy to bite from ska, lite reggae and glossy synth beats, but always in the service of Allen's girlish appeal, which wavers between innocent and obnoxious. Now the overnight pop star and reckoning fashion icon has arrived stateside with her debut, Alright, Still, and it's clear from the acrobatic one-liners of "Knock 'Em Out" and "Not Big" that Lils isn't afraid to dish disses to the opposite sex. In fact, she seems to enjoy herself quite a bit, regardless of who she's slagging off. (Targets include men in general, but also Kate Moss and, in "Alfie," her own brother.) Allen's sarcasm is sexy, and she never quits, even tarting up the ballad "Littlest Things" with her sharp tongue. She's definitely everyone's favorite of the moment, and seems to have enough sass to sidestep the initial Internet culture backlash. And yet, for all her wit and style, she's still just a girl with a batch of hooky rhymes layered on top of countless broken hearts. The question is, can she drop it like it's hot a second time?
MacKenzie Wilson writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.