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Is Lily Allen really all that and a bag of crisps?

Lily_l

Lily_lThe British are coming! The British are coming! Okay, well, it’s just one Brit—and she’s of a manageable size—but for anyone who follows the hype music industry these days, the release of Lily Allen’s Alright, Still yesterday completes the most fascinating rise to fame of any artist in recent memory. Her tracks leaked into the American consciousness early in 2006 via the magic of the Internets, and a mix tape thing she put up on her own site was in constant rotation in the Whitney offices for much of last summer. She’s spunky, she’s funky, she carries none of the obnoxious grandstanding habits of her fellow pocket-sized countrywoman Lady Sovereign despite being very much in charge of her own image (and not shy with opinions). Most telling fact on the buzzometer: Her debut album, Alright, Still was almost certainly the highest-ranking not-technically-released-in-the-U.S.-yet album on the critics’ year-end best lists for last year.

So the proof is in the Yorkshire pudding, and now we can all decide for ourselves whether she’s the second coming of the musical messiah or yet another talented act from across the pond doomed to spend eternity in the bargain bin with Robbie Williams. In my opinion, the sheer existence of “LDN”—a flouncy story-song about her hometown with a kick-ass reggae merengue sample that, yes, made my year-end best list—justifies my love, but I’m curious to hear what you kids think.

Stream the whole album here, watch this Chevy Sessions, and catch her on SNL this weekend. Then report back, and let me know if you’re ready to believe the hype or bring the [redacted] ruckus.

Originally posted January 31 2007 — 8:48 PM EST

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