Lily Allen - "Hard Out Here" video

Lily Allen back! The awesomely sneery British pop singer left the game for a few years and had new kids, but she’s primed to make a big return with a new album next year. She’s already covered Keane for a British department-store commercial, and now she’s got her first real single since 2009. It’s called “Hard Out Here,” and it’s an Auto-Tuned pop song that also works as an on-the-nose parody of Auto-Tuned pop songs, or at least the wing of pop culture that produces them. The glossy video, from director Christopher Sweeney, looks at the usual champagne-on-tits music video cliches through the lens of body-image issues and institutional sexism. Watch it below.

Question: When was the last time anyone sincerely poured champagne on a stripper in a music video? 1999?

Comments (15)
  1. holy hell that was awesome.

  2. Feminist anthem 2013!

  3. I’m glad Lily Allen exists.

  4. I LOVE Lily Allen. So glad to have her back.

  5. Haha sorry this song just made me giggle… but this is a good thing, I’m not making fun of it or anything. This song is all sorts of awesome.

  6. Glad we’re getting this kind of message, but isn’t it a bit bizarre that to criticize Miley/scum-pop at large she resorts to doing pretty much the same thing they do but she’s “sarcastic”? I’m supposed to cheer about the sexualized back-up dancers and jokey hip-hop signifiers because they’re “ironic”? Maybe I’m being uptight but I just dunno.

    • I think by having the old white dude/manager on screen coercing her it kind of subverts those signifiers rather than reinforces them :)

      • Everything from the back-up dancers and shiny rims to the “Blurred Lines” style balloons are meant to be satirical. If you didn’t catch that, then I think you’ve missed the point.

        • I’m not saying they aren’t obviously satirical: she says as much blatantly in the song. She’s not promoting these things–only an idiot would think that. I’m just not sure if it’s successful satire if she can’t avoid using the same loaded signifiers that critique stereotypes black entertainment culture (rims, gold bars, a variety of black dancers gyrating and pouring champagne). The Blurred Lines joke is actually hilarious, but much of it feels kind of counter productive.

      • Having the white manager guy on screen was pretty great, but I’m with keegzmcgee, it doesn’t entirely work well as satire–it does that thing where it’s almost subversive, but is still trying to have it both ways. Like having a movie where you’re making fun of product placement, but you’re using logos for real companies that have paid to take part in it… it’s still product placement. Granted, I think that example is a lot more frustrating than what Allen is doing here, since I think Allen’s heart is in the right place (and the “forget your balls and grow a pair of tits” line is particularly brilliant). But yeah, kind of problematic from the satire angle.

  7. Her first two albums were great.
    And still are, even in the time of Icona Pop and Sky Ferreira.
    In fact, especially in the time of Icona Pop and Sky Ferreira.

  8. I love you, Lily Allen!

  9. R.I.P. Lily Allen

  10. Needs more Bear and Hare.

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