I recently stopped by Stereogum’s NYC offices to sit down and have a chat with Lily Allen. Given how contentious Allen’s relationship to the press has been in the past — particularly in regards to the varying and often contradictory interpretations of her new album, Sheezus — I wasn’t sure just how amenable Allen would be to talking with yet another journalist about her polarizing new set of songs. In the end, she couldn’t have been lovelier. Opinion may be split about her new record, which tows a fine line between calling out feminist double standards and inadvertently playing directly into them, but what makes Allen such a compelling presence is just how honest she is about the whole thing. Whether it be in her music, in the press, or on Twitter, she just can’t help but say what’s on her mind in any given moment, even when it gets her into trouble or, as some have complained, sends a complicated jumble of mixed messages. When I asked her about the seemingly contradictory messages at work in Sheezus, Allen was nonplussed. (“I’m not a politician,” she quipped.) Regardless of how it’s received, Allen appears genuinely happy to have made the record she wanted to make, but she’s the first one to own up to being more than a little frightened and insecure about trying to reenter the pop landscape after nearly a five-year absence. “I just try and be as honest as I can without sounding like too much of a dick,” she told me. “Maybe I succeed in some people’s eyes and fail miserably in others, but at the end of the day that’s the name of the game, isn’t it?”
You can subscribe to our original videos at youtube.com/stereogum.