Parlophone – June 8th
Lily Allen’s career was founded on a two-pronged attack of searing lyrics and blissfully sunny melodies, making the busy productions and confused messaging of her last LP doubly disappointing. As Allen herself admits, 2014’s Sheezus was a misstep: the by-product of an identity crisis and label pressures. By contrast, No Shame finds the singer-songwriter abandoning that distracting slickness, and exploring personal traumas to create her strongest set since Alright, Still. Dissecting her divorce, struggles with alcohol, low self-esteem and parental guilt with both wit and bravery, Allen’s vulnerability becomes her strength, and that candour is echoed in the simplicity of arrangements, which extend from Caribbean-flavoured pop (‘Your Choice’, ‘What You Waiting For’) to silvery ballads (‘Everything To Feel Something’, ‘Apples’), and feature perfectly-pitched cameos from Giggs, Burna Boy and Lady Chann.