It didn’t take me very long to notice the undeniable similarities between Lily Allen’s The Fear and Nickleback’s surprise hit of last year Rockstar (surprise in that it was a hit that is). An interesting article in the Guide during the reign of terror that Rockstar held over the charts commented on how the song at first sight appeared to be a biting commentary on the excesses of celebrity life and culture, but then revealed itself to be, in fact, AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL!
Listening to Lily Allen’s The Fear I was struck by some nagging thought in my head that reflected the sentiment there expressed. It appeared on the surface of this cute pop song, with lulling synths and pretty beeps that there was a biting critique on the excesses of celebrity life and culture. But in fact – just like Rockstar – it’s AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL!
Now, disclaimer time. I happen to not dislike Lily’s new track, whereas I hated with every fibre of my listening being Rockstar. But that’s not the point. The point is; Lily Allen’s song is as gloriously revelling in her own autobiography as Chad Kroeger was in his. Neither song is a biting commentary on the excesses and falsity of cheap celebrity culture. It’s a litany of their own lives.
Let’s break it down.
Does Lily Allen have a lot of money? Check!
Does Lily Allen have lots of clothes? Check!
Does Lily Allen have diamonds? Check!
Did Lily Allen take her top off and it appears in the papers? Check!
Did Chad Kroeger have a big house in Beverly Hills? Check!
Did Chad Kroeger change his name? Check!
Does Chad Kroeger not have to queue? Check!
Does Chad Kroeger have a tour bus? I think he probably does.
Anyway, the point is that Lily’s new song has been lauded as a deep and meaningful look into the society we live in that rewards women for taking their tops off and gives people celebrity for appearing on a TV show of no merit, interest or sense of reality. Her song has been received as though we didn’t know this already. And the recpetion has completely ignored the point that she is living the life that she is criticising. Just like Chad Kroeger, The Fear reveals nothing except a colossal lack of self awareness being represented as an important piece of social commentary.
Still, Lily Allen has lots of clothes and money, and I am working really long hours and have no money, so I guess she wins.