Friday, January 10, 2014

18 of 1001 Songs: Lily Allen's The Fear

Lily Allen would introduce her second album with the single release of "The Fear." I remember hearing this song at the time of it's release, and I liked it a lot, so the question would be would I like the song this time as much as I did when I use to listen to it?  In 2009 I remember sharing this song with a few people after listening to it, and I was a sophomore in college still, but while the song still sounds catchy times have changed me.

History: The reviews for this song would range all over the place. While some critics loved the beats and the lyrics, others would write it off as being generic. Fans though would receive the song well, and it would go on to be a chart topping single, particularly in England, and it would make another chart hit in the U.S. for her. The song is classified as electropop, and has very upfront lyrics about materialism and celebrity temptations.

Vocals: One of the fun things about the song are Lily Allen's vocals. She has a heavy British accent that translates over into her songs, so all the lyrics get this extra emphasis that draws you toward listening to them, and makes the way the lyrics hang more interesting. Her voicing lacks a bit of emotion, but I thought that was too much the robotic nature of what you become when you fall into the lifestyle of materials and fame that the song sings of as a fear.

Instrumentals: The genre is classified as electropop, a genre I hadn't heard of before even though I had heard this tune. So instead of a list of personnel that includes drummers and guitarists, you're going to find a list of people who went to work on engineering the songs sound, and mixing it. It's interesting to think of, and honestly a closer look at the process might make us all appreciate it more, especially since this song has such a cohesive sound. I think for me I have started to prefer more instrumental based music over time, so it's not as appealing to hear as much electronic music now, and the mood is rarer for it.

Lyrics: The lyrics focus on celebrity fame and consumerism, but more so the darker side of it when it has happened and consumed you. Even though I find the song harder to relate to because of the celebrity aspect of it, I think that anyone can relate because we all struggle with this to some extent even if it isn't on the same format that Allen is having to deal with it. Then again, not everyone is seeking fame either, and that might be the less easy to relate to side. What helps the song is that the perspective that Allen is singing from isn't from a woman that is already famous, but one willing to anything to find it. It makes it much more grounded in content.

Allen's song is a catchy song, that has some interesting beats and vocals notes that Allen's achieves. It's one of the more appealing electronic songs there is, and Allen presents it well. If you haven't heard I definitely recommend checking it out. I don't get quite excited hearing it anymore as I once did, and honestly probably wouldn't listen to it very much in the future, but it's still a catchy song. And to be honest I prefer this live performance at Jools Holland to her studio single.

Rating 8 of 10.

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