Throughout her career, Lily Allen has become renowned for her straight-talking approach to songwriting, whether she’s lambasting music industry sexism, sending up celebrity culture or giving her exes a less-than-favourable review in the bedroom department.
On her new album, ‘No Shame’, Lily does what she’s always done, but in a more introspective way, laying herself - and the changes her life has undergone in the four years since her last album - bare.
Songs include searing honesty about the breakdown of her marriage, reflections on her past substance abuse and her relationship with her two young daughters.
After listening to ‘No Shame’ in full, here are just 12 of the most honest and revealing lyrics on the album…
1. “Yeah I’m a bad mother, I’m a bad wife, you saw it on the socials, you read it online”
Lily recently told Rolling Stone that opening track ‘Come On Then’ was about grappling with the media’s perception of her, and “not really being able to differentiate” whether that’s what was real, with her roles as a wife and mother having both been called into question by the tabloids throughout her split from Sam Cooper.
2. “If you go on record as saying that you know me, then why am I so lonely ’cause nobody fucking phones me?”
Loneliness is a recurring theme on ‘No Shame’, which she addresses for the first time on ‘Come On Then’, lamenting that fake people in her life will pretend to be her friend but ultimately betray her and sell her out to the media.
3. “It fuels my addictions hanging out in this whirlwind, if you cool my ambitions I’m gonna cut you out”
By now, fans have had plenty of time to get acquainted with ‘Trigger Bang’, the lead single from ‘No Shame’, which deals with her tendencies to self-medicate. As in ‘Come On Then’, Lily says she no longer wants people in her life without her best interests at heart, in this case, people who encourage her self-destructive behaviour.
4. “Meant it when I said ‘I do’, don’t know I was untrue with everything I put you through”
A number of the songs on the album deal with her split from ex-husband Sam Cooper (their divorce was finalised earlier this week) who she divorced in the week leading up to the album’s release. Here, she sings about having started her marriage with the best of intentions, but acknowledges she later wound up being unfaithful.
5. “First I felt liberated by it, but solitude is overrated”
‘What You Waiting For?’ appears to deal with Lily’s feelings immediately after the break-up, again alluding to her loneliness.
6. “Baby don’t leave me I’m just doing what I can to get by”
‘Family Man’, meanwhile, takes us a bit further back in the timeline, with Lily previously revealing this song was written about the time shortly before the break-up, when she felt she and her ex could still have patched things up...
7. “I hope we’re gonna pull through, but darling I need my time away from you”
...but towards the end of the song, this looks a lot less likely.
8. “Towards the end we weren’t even having sex, I felt like I was only good for writing the cheques, I like a drink but that does not make me a wreck”
While much of ‘No Shame’ sees Lily owning up to and accepting her indiscretions and mistakes, on ‘Apples’ - arguably the most lyrically raw the star has ever been - she offers another side to the break-up, sharing how she was made to feel unhappy as her marriage neared its end.
9. “It was all too much for me, now I’m exactly where I didn’t want to be, I’m just like my mummy and daddy, I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”
She also acknowledges her own parents’ divorce when she was still a child, and ponders whether they sparked a pattern that she would eventually repeat.
10. “I’ve been out making lots of friends, you can’t play with us ’cause you’re always off on tour, one day I hope you’ll meet them”
‘Three’ is sung from the imagined perspective of Lily’s young daughters, with the singer expressing her own insecurities as a mother who spends a lot of time working, particularly out of the country.
11. “My glass is always half-empty, someone fill it up for me”
Much like ‘Trigger Bang’, ‘Everything To Feel Something’ sees Lily describing the vices she would use when she was at her lowest points in the past few years, particularly sex, alcohol and drugs.
12. “Might take a few drinks to spit this out, but I really, really miss you when you’re not around”
Don’t think that ‘No Shame’ is a gloomy album, though. While it does undeniably have its dark moments, there are also moments of optimism and hope, such as ‘Pushing Up Daisies’, where she shares her excitement for the future in her new relationship, with MC Meridian Dan, who also lends his voice to album cut ‘Higher’.
Lily Allen’s ‘No Shame’ is available to download and stream now.