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Lily Allen - Alright, Still - Capitol

Lily Allen is January's Artist To Watch. Winner of 2006 Digital Music Awards, Lily Allen is the 21 year old singer songwriter who has been tearing up the web lately. >Here's a bona fide Internet/My Space success story. Lily Allen's much downloaded tunes and much read muses on her personal page were the sparks that launched her promising career. With "Smile" already a U.K. number one, and her album dropping this week in the U.S., is superstardom pending? Perhaps it is, and, if it happens, I for one will be watching with interest because Allen is one quirky, unpredictable could-be pop star.

While Alright, Still is most certainly a "pop" album, it has heady, diverse influences. The familiar Professor Longhair strains of his 'Nawlins classic "Big Chief" greets us on track #2 "Knock 'Em Out," and, elsewhere, Allen's reported fondness of reggae and ska makes itself apparent throughout. The subject matter rarely strays from idiot boyfriends (or girlfriends), but her playfulness and humor always shine through. Her British accent is charming and aloof at the same time. Like Beck, she doesn't really "rap," per se, but the hip-hop elements are always near the surface.

Allen comes from an artistic, privileged family of creative people, and that has allowed her rather pronounced renegade side to emerge without too much psychic (or criminal) damage. The result is a joyous, 37-minute dose of attitude and swagger that can make you dance AND laugh...a much harder feat than it sounds.

Written by Dan Reed

Listen and Watch Lily's Smile Video - Watch it on You Tube

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XPN Artist To Watch: January 2007

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