Listen to this track by London denizen, anti-Katy Perry pop songstress, and mum Lily Allen. It’s her 2009 song “The Fear” as taken from her second record to follow up 2006’s Alright, Still, and cheekily titled it is too, It’s Not Me, It’s You.
Despite the fashionable retro-electro musical style, this song is about a culture that celebrates the ephemeral, the lavish, and the self-serving, the incredibly shallow, laced as it is with irony, and not just a little bit of disgust at the attitudes pervasive in pop star circles.
Iconoclastic lyrics against a smooth electro-pop backdrop and all, Allen scored number ones in the UK, and here in Canada, too. The album went triple-platinum in the UK, with “The Fear” scoring best track at the 2009 Q Awards. The record was nominated for the Mercury Prize that year, too. The song was her second entry in the US Billboard Hot 100.
All of this is quite an irony in some ways, given that she was taking pot shots at the very characteristics that pop stardom appears to represent. But who specifically is this song aimed at?