Lily Allen – ‘LDN’ (2006)
London's underbelly gets a sunshine reggae makeover
Lily Allen has a unique talent for making the best of times out of the worst of times. As with the duplicitous 'Smile', the sweet nature of the song is undercut by the story it contains.
The most commonly quoted couplet from ‘LDN’ is the masterfully zeitgeistian rhyming of ‘Tesco’ with ‘al fresco', a playful lyrical twist which detracted attention from the rather more sinister tone of the song as a whole.
Pimps and crack whores enjoy the sun. An old lady is mugged by a bad samaritan. And let's not forget Allen is only cycling around London to start with because she lost her driver's license. But Allen finds the whole horror show to be glorious Bedlam-style entertainment, a sentiment the city's legions of cynical people watchers can get behind.
‘I wanted to do something that was… not sick, but honest,’ Allen said in a interview upon its release. ‘These are things that happen every day where we live in this amazing city. It's not like I live in some gated community in Chelsea, and I think it's good for kids from Worcester or wherever to be told about that kind of badness.’