|Studio album by Lily Allen|
|Released||14 July 2006|
|Lily Allen chronology|
|Singles from Alright, Still|
Alright, Still is the debut studio album by British pop singer-songwriter Lily Allen, released on 14 July 2006 by Regal Recordings (see 2006 in music). Recording the album began with sessions between Allen and production duo Future Cut, and Allen's work garnered publicity on the Internet as she posted demos to her MySpace account before they were officially released. The songs are heavily influenced by Jamaican ska music, and their lyrics are conversational and farcical.
Because there are many instances of strong language in a great majority of the album's songs, it was released with a Parental Advisory warning, though the song "Friday Night" remains censored on all versions of the album. The album was released to generally positive reviews among music critics. It was commercially successful in the United Kingdom, having been certified 3× Platinum. Alright, Still has sold over 6 million copies worldwide. The album earned a nomination for Best Alternative Music Album at the 50th Grammy Awards.
Allen's manager introduced her to production duo Future Cut in 2004. They worked in a small studio in the basement of a Manchester office building. In 2005, Allen was signed to Regal Records; the label gave her £25,000 to produce an album, though they were unable to provide much support for it due to their preoccupation with other releases such as Coldplay's X&Y and virtual band Gorillaz' Demon Days.
Allen created an account on Myspace and began posting demos in November 2005. The demos attracted thousands of listeners, and 500 limited edition 7" vinyl singles of one of the demos, a song titled "LDN", were rush-released and sold for as much as £40. Allen also produced two mixtapes — My First Mixtape and My Second Mixtape — to promote her work; they included tracks by the band Creedence Clearwater Revival, and rapper Dizzee Rascal, and Ludacris. As she accumulated tens of thousands of MySpace friends, The Observer Music Monthly (OMM), a magazine published in The Observer, took interest. Few people outside of her label's A&R department had heard of Allen, so the label were slow in responding to publications who wanted to report about her.
In March 2006, OMM published an article about Allen's success through MySpace, and she received her first major mainstream coverage appearing in the magazine's cover story two months later. The popularity of her songs convinced her label to allow her more creative control over the album and to use some of the songs that she had written instead of attempting to work with mainstream producers. Allen found herself distracted by the publicity, so to focus on finishing the album, she traveled to the United States to work with producers Greg Kurstin and Mark Ronson. There, she was able to complete the second half of the album in approximately two weeks.
The album's title is used in a line from the second track, "Knock 'Em Out": "You look alright still, yeah what's your name?" Allen borrowed the phrase from a slang term that her brother Alfie Owen-Allen and his friends used as a synonym for cool. She stated that she liked Albert Einstein's aphorism "Nothing changes until something moves" and the idea that "everything is [alright] as long as it's still".
In her songs, Allen develops various personas. She stated that she tried to "write about stuff that happens to people from all different backgrounds". The lyrics are conversational, with a dark sense of humour. In many of the songs, one of Allen's personae disparages someone around her. In "Smile", "Not Big", and "Shame for You", she insults an ex-boyfriend. In "Knock 'Em Out", she mocks suitors at a bar, and Lily reprimands her brother Alfie on the song of the same name.
The first song released as a single, featuring a ska sample of "Reggae Merengue".
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Joe Strummer, a close friend of Allen's father Keith, played mixtapes of Brazilian music and Jamaican reggae and ska when she was young. Allen stated that she had "always been into very black music" such as ska, reggae, and hip hop music. Since she did not know how to rap, she chose to use reggae as a point of reference when making Alright, Still. The album's music blends ska and reggae with pop melodies. Allen's melodies are influenced by the jazz improvisation techniques of American singers Blossom Dearie and Ella Fitzgerald. The album's beats are influenced by various genres such as jazz and grime.
Alright, Still received acclaim from the British music press. The album holds a score 79 out of 100 based on 27 critical reviews which indicates "generally favorable reviews", according to the music review aggregator Metacritic. The Observer's Rosie Swash stated that Allen's "uniquely acidic brand of pop" music justified the publicity it generated and that "the icing on the cake is that brutally barbed tongue". The newspaper ranked the album tenth on its list of the best albums of 2006. Ron Webb wrote for Drowned in Sound that the album "is almost a brilliant record, easily a good one and one that promises to divide opinion like Marmite". Uncut called it "a terrific, bolshy, eclectic stew of London street pop", listing Alright, Still thirty-eighth on its "Definitive Albums of 2006". In a review for The Guardian, Sophie Heawood stated that "the album is rough round the edges, that amateurism serves to bring the listener in", noting that it gave the album a more personal touch. The Guardian ranked it the seventh best album of the year and commented, "For her lyrical nous and her quick delivery alone, get that toast on." The NME's Priya Elan remarked that "with a personality this size, this isn't the last time you'll be hearing from [Allen]".
The album generally received positive reviews from international music press. Rob Sheffield wrote for Rolling Stone that Allen's sense of irony was "just more proof that [she's] an original". The magazine ranked the album thirteenth on its list of the best albums of 2007. Heather Phares of Allmusic stated that "enough of Alright, Still works — as pure pop and on the meta level Allen aims for — to make the album a fun, summery fling, and maybe more". Praising Allen for her "genuine personality with wit and attitude to spare", Pitchfork's Mark Pytlik remarked that the album "isn't anything else but a fantastic success". Pitchfork called it "one of 2006's most enduringly rewarding pop albums" and listed it as the twenty-ninth best album of 2006. In his review for Blender, Jon Dolan complimented Allen's "little-sisterly" personality, describing it as a combination "of panache and self-doubt, courage and chaos". At the 2008 Grammy Awards, the album was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album but lost to The White Stripes' Icky Thump. Ronson's production on "Littlest Things" helped him win a Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical.
On the other hand, Stylus Magazine called the album "nothing more than pop for people who hate pop music" and "phony music for people who can't let go of their inhibitions," while Slant Magazine deemed it "rubbish" and called Allen "sickeningly contemptuous."
The mastering of Alright, Still, done by Tim Burrell and Tim Debney, has been criticised. In January 2007, The Guardian ran a piece about loudness wars, the practice of increasing the loudness of tracks which often results in distortion and the loss of dynamic range. It included Alright, Still in a list of CDs in which sound quality was compromised for loudness. Rolling Stone published a similar story in December 2007, and it also identified Alright, Still as an album "so unrelentingly loud that the sound is actually distorted".
Alright, Still was commercially successful in the United Kingdom. In late July 2006, it debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart. The album dropped off the chart after nearly eleven months but reentered the chart twice, spending a total of sixty-nine weeks on the chart. The British Phonographic Industry certified Alright, Still 3x platinum. On the week ending on 28 January 2007, the top ten places on the UK Albums Chart were filled by British acts for the first time since the chart was established in 1956; Alright, Still was number nine that week. on 14 March 2008 Alright Still was certified 3× platinum by BPI denoting retail shipments of over 900,000 copies, with retail sales close to 1 million in February 2009. In Ireland, the album debuted at number six on the Irish Albums Chart, and it spent a total of thirty-five weeks on the chart. The Irish Recorded Music Association certified the album platinum.
The album was less successful on the European mainland. It peaked in the top twenty in Norway; the top thirty in Belgium and Denmark; and the top fifty in Italy, France, and Sweden. Alright, Still sold over one million copies throughout Europe.
The album performed similarly worldwide, selling a total of nearly two million copies. Two weeks after its American release, Alright, Still debuted at number twenty on the U.S. Billboard 200, and it remained on the chart for twenty-four weeks. The Recording Industry Association of America awarded the album a gold certification for shipping 500,000 copies. Alright, Still debuted at number seven on the Australian ARIA Albums Chart and spent a total of sixteen weeks on the chart. ARIA awarded the album a platinum certification. In New Zealand, the album debuted at number twenty-six on 31 July 2006 and was certified Gold after nineteen weeks selling over 7,500 copies.
|2.||"Knock 'Em Out"||
|4.||"Everything's Just Wonderful"||
|7.||"Shame for You"||
|8.||"Littlest Things"||Mark Ronson||3:02|
|9.||"Take What You Take"||
|10.||"Friend of Mine"||
|iTunes Store Pre-Order Edition Bonus Tracks|
|12.||"Blank Expression"||Future Cut||2:30|
|American Bonus Tracks|
|12.||"Nan You're a Window Shopper"||
|13.||"Smile" (Version: Revisited)||
|Japanese Bonus Tracks|
|European Bonus Track|
|12.||"Mr. Blue Sky"||Jeff Lynne||Future Cut||3:40|
|Deluxe Edition Bonus Disc|
|1.||"Mr. Blue Sky"||Jeff Lynne||Future Cut||3:40|
|3.||"Nan You're a Window Shopper"||
|6.||"U Killed It"||
|7.||"Everybody's Changing"||Keane||Future Cut||2:40|
|8.||"Naïve"||The Kooks||Future Cut||3:46|
|2010 Edition Bonus Disc|
|1.||"Smile" (Gutter Mix)||Future Cut|
|2.||"LDN" (Warbox Original Cut Dub)||
|3.||"Littlest Things" (Instrumental)||Mark Ronson|
|4.||"Alfie" (CSS Remix)||
|5.||"LDN" (Acoustic Live at Bush Hall)||
|6.||"Littlest Things" (Acoustic Live at Bush Hall)||Mark Ronson|
|7.||"Shame for You" (Acoustic Live at Bush Hall)||
|8.||"Alfie" (Acoustic Live at Bush Hall)||
|9.||"Smile" (Version: Revisited)||
|10.||"Oh My God" (featuring Mark Ronson)||Kaiser Chiefs||Mark Ronson||3:42|
|11.||"Drivin' Me Wild" (featuring Common)||
|Argentinian Albums Chart||3|
|Australian Albums Chart||7|
|Brazil Albums Chart||5|
|Belgian (Flanders) Albums Chart||24|
|Belgian (Wallonia) Albums Chart||79|
|Croatian International Album Chart||19|
|Canadian Albums Chart||21|
|Dutch Albums Chart||27|
|French Albums Chart||47|
|Irish Albums Chart||6|
|Italian Albums Chart||22|
|New Zealand Albums Chart||22|
|Norwegian Albums Chart||20|
|Swedish Albums Chart||42|
|Swiss Albums Chart||53|
|UK Albums Chart||2|
|U.S. Billboard 200||20|
|United Kingdom||1.000,000+||3× Platinum|
|Europe||14 July 2006||EMI||CD|
|United Kingdom||17 July 2006||Regal||0946 3 67028 2 7|
|Mexico||24 July 2006||EMI|
|Australia||29 July 2006||Festival Mushroom Records
|Thailand||4 August 2006||EMI|
|Brazil||25 August 2006||EMI|
|Canada||19 September 2006||EMI||0946 3 71739 2 3|
|Japan||4 October 2006||Toshiba-EMI||TOCP-66625|
|United States||30 January 2007||Capitol Records||CDP||0946 3 75466 2 8|
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- Images for Lily Allen - Alright, Still
- Images for Lily Allen - Alright, Still
- Images for Lily Allen - Alright, Still
- Connecting to the iTunes Store
- Alright, Still: Amazon.co.uk: Music
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