Nothing says music industry 2013 like played out formulas and bad clichés. If you are a fan of these time honored traditions, you’re going to love the comeback single from your former Myspace friend, Lily Allen.
As with all artists who go on a lengthy hiatus of three years, Allen has basically been forgotten by the music buying public on this side of the pond. Thankfully the tabloid sensation’s record label is ready to make you forget how much you love
Lana Del Rey Lorde with her predictably sarcastic and oh so controversial new single Hard Out Here.
The video opens with the mother of two having all the unwanted fat sucked out of her body while being informed she is no longer good enough for an appearance on David Letterman’s late night television program. For the next 210 seconds, Allen fills the over-produced pop track with the same old sad sob story of gender inequality that women have been singing about for decades, while bringing nothing new to the table.
With the reportedly large amounts of cash behind Allen since her own birth, if the double standard truly upsets her, why not bring change to the industry on her own terms? Allen could very easily start a modern day revolution of women musicians who don’t need use balloons to describe the shapes of their pussies. Instead Allen unfortunately takes the easy path and falls for the formulaic comeback single as we are treated to uninspired beats, use of the word bitch as sarcasm, and a bridge declaring that Inequality Is Here To Stay, Always Trust The Injustice Because It’s Not Going Away.
While it would be hard to find anyone left in the 21st century shocked to discover disgusting levels of gender inequality within the music industry; Allen plays right into the trap by ironically becoming everything she is rallying against. With the earlier mentioned lengthy absence from the public eye, Allen could have come back as anything she wanted to be. Allen has the power to upset the male suit and tie types that play the villain in her latest video by taking on the Ke$ha’s and Katy’s with a well crafted sonic statement that stands on its own both lyrically and musically. Instead, she acts like a victim for one reason and one reason alone. Allen up to this point in her career has proven she simply lacks the talent to be anything other than sarcastic snot nosed punk with above average social media skills and a silver spoon born in her mouth.
In a day and age where Tegan and Sara feel as if they need to go pop to make a living, throwing sarcasm onto a serious topic such as gender equality only further cements these harmful stereotypes within the music industry. Perhaps the problem is not so much about a glass ceiling for women After all, Adele is much larger than Allen in both physical size and physical sales and no one is telling her she needs to shake her ass in a music video. Perhaps the problem is the fact the general public has become morbidly obese on marginally talented female musicians designed more for your eyes than your ears. Women don’t want to sing like Katy Perry, they want to turn heads like Katy Perry.
Sadly for Lily Allen, with neither the looks nor talent, she must mock the elephant in the room in a desperate attempt to extend her shelf life into the sixteenth minute. While some may view it as a bold and powerful comment on where women stand in music in the year 2013; sadly for those of us with half a brain it’s just another bad clichés available for $1.29 a click.