The latest incarnation of England’s snark-pop princess? Hee Haw queen. In the video for “Not Fair,” the galloping, do-si-do-ey second single from It’s Not Me It’s You, Lily Allen conjurs up a fictional country-variety show, The Wagon House, and lays the Grand Ole Opry steez—and the false eyelashes—on thick. (Warning: if lines like “I spent ages giving head” don’t fly in your office, this one is NSFW without headphones):
It’s not bad, it’s just… not awesome. Sort of a squandered theme, this one—and not hardly new, either. Several clips beat her to the hay-bale punch; most famously, Devo’s “Whip It” (damn you, unembeddable videos!), which gave us the same 10-dollar set, but also flower-pot hats and a genuine dose of out-there punk weirdiosity. And when Rilo Kiley frontwoman turned solo star Jenny Lewis did it in 2006, she managed to wrangle guest star Sarah Silverman, a laugh track, and some real sequins ‘n chiffon razzmatazz for “Rise Up with Fists!!”:
Sure, there’s nothing new under the sun; but if you’re going to take a well-worked theme, you have to hustle a little harder to make your light shine, Miss Lily—and not just jack Linda Ronstadt’s 1974-tour jumpsuit and a few fake-wood fence posts. Or maybe I judge too harshly. Readers, what do you think of “Not Fair”—is it a country crock, or clever kitsch?