Lily Allen has always wisely had a wide assortment of remixes readily available in addition to her quirky covers ("Womanizer," "Mr. Blue Sky") that are often irrepressible and catchy. Her latest album, It's Not Me, it's You has already featured a few songs getting press: the first single "The Fear" that travels a confessional hallway and "Fuck You," which handles homophobia with aplomb and sense of humor.
That has often been Allen's strength--her sense of timing and lyrical bite. Indeed, her previous singles--among them, "Alfie," "Smile," "LDN"--may have all been entirely danceable but they also featured ironic, sarcastic, and caustic social commentary that showed a bright, clever woman.
Most of those singles' remixes put the lyrics to the background but managed to keep at least the story going. Among her best is the CSS remix of "Alfie" that is electrcrunchy heaven and the Mark Ronson mix for "Smile."
"The Fear" packed some excellent remixes in from Dresden & Gabriel, StoneBridge, and the Wideboys and treated the lyrics with respect. After hearing them, I could not wait to hear the entire remixed (and if you head to her official website, you can hear them all fanmixed with various results) but again, Allen's always been the full package: great lyrics, great vocals, and great music. With remixes usually completely redoing the music, one can only cross their fingers that the lyrics and the voice will be retained.
However her new single, "Not Fair" features a collection of different-sounding electro that all but spit on the lyrics and vocals. The muddy Winkle remix keeps the vocals in the low mix, giving them a fade-in/fade-out quality far too present in remixes (and showing limitation in the meter of the song; this should be a clue that the remixer is forcing a melody).
Sharp and twisted beats permeate the Eddie Kid and Richard Searle mix, which additionally blocks most of the lyrics. This would suffice for a dub mix if we weren't instead subjected to the phrase "not fair" over and over again.
This was likely to happen since it's a frequent line but it's the same treatment done to Shahaf Moran's mix, which is far more palatable (likely because it's the only one where you hear the entire length of the original song; admittedly, the radio edit is better).
The stuttering Style of Eye Remix has its moments but comes off far too long.
The original is top notch with a funky country feel to it. The content is standard Lily: tongue-in-cheek and furrowed brow over her lover's insensitivity; in this case, regarding her orgasms.
Eddie Kid & Richard Searle Remix: C-
Style of Eye Remix: C
Winkle Remix: C-
Shahas Moran Remix: B