ELLE reviews Sheezus

Lily Allen's new album

Pop’s archest commentator, Lily Allen, took things to a new level in the weeks leading up to the release of her comeback album, her first since 2009’s It’s Not Me, It’s You: self-imposed retirement and motherhood.

Having already picked fights with Cheryl Cole, Azealia Banks, Fearne Cotton etc etc, she turned her sharp tongue to herself. Addressing a comment on Twitter that lead-off singles Hard Out Here and Air Ballon were ‘docile pop rubbish’ Allen surprisingly agreed: 'What you’ve heard so far is very much the more beige, saccharine elements' she said. You could practically hear her record company banging their collective heads against the wall.

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In fact, Allen turned out to be right: there’s much better material here than those initial singles would suggest. Title track Sheezus is a witty broadside at the current crop of female pop stars, name-checking Katy Perry, Beyoncé and Lorde, URL Badman takes a swipe at internet trolls, while L8 CMMR is a heartfelt tribute to the, um, staying power of hubby Sam Cooper, set to the most indelible of pop melodies. Beige, saccharine elements aside, it’s great to have her back.

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