The hardest right hooks are provided with the ex-bashing ‘Not Big’ and ‘Friend Of Mine’, the former with such lyrical hilarities as ‘I’m gonna tell the world you’re rubbish in bed now/And that you’re small in the game’, and the latter a downbeat tale of losing a friend to drugs. You can’t help but assume both stories are true.
Comparisons to The Streets are easily made via ‘Friday Night’ (‘I push her back/she looks at me/and says/’what ya tryin’ to say’) and especially ‘Knock ‘Em Out’, both, not unlike Mike Skinners’ work, crude comments on club culture.
Allen’s personality works best, however, when she’s playing the ‘Angry Young Woman’ - the Kate Moss-referencing, bureaucracy-bashing ‘Everything’s Just Wonderful’ about as much insight in to a Brit youngster as you’re going to get. ‘LDN’ is one of the most honest tracks about the capital city written in a long time, and ‘Shame For You’, along with ‘Take What You Take’ should undoubtedly be considered the offspring of ‘Girl Power’.
Just when you’ve decided Allen’s a hard-nosed cow, however, ‘Alfie’ and ‘Littlest Things’ come to the rescue. The former’s desperate plea to her younger brother to ‘get off your lazy arse, Alfie please use your brain’ is nothing if not as affectionate as siblings ever get, and the Mark Ronson-produced ‘Littlest Things’ liable to make even the most cold-blooded feel for the broken-hearted 21-year-old.
Never has eleven tracks of brutal honesty been so much fun.
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