Picks and Pans Review: Lily Allen

UPDATED 02/05/2007 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 02/05/2007 at 01:00 AM EST

Alright, Still

CRITIC'S CHOICE

ALT-POP

It's impossible not to grin when you hear "Smile," the deliciously catty—and catchy—single on which Britain's Lily Allen rebuffs her cheating ex's attempts to reunite, taking spiteful delight in his misery: "At worst I feel bad for a while, but then I just smile." There is plenty more cheeky attitude where that came from on her wickedly fun debut, which arrives Stateside six months after being released to commercial and critical success in the U.K. On the hilarious, hip-hop-inflected "Knock 'Em Out," the 21-year-old singer takes stinging jabs at a particularly unsmooth operator: "And no you can't have my number/'Why?' Because I've lost my phone." For all her sass, though, Allen does have moments of real sweetness. On "LDN"—a wry, warts-and-all ode to London that is one of many ska-tinged songs—her breezy vocals float through a radiantly sunny chorus.
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