Lily Allen released her fourth studio album, ‘No Shame’, via Parlophone records on June 8th, 2018, and it was met with critical acclaim. It was Allen's first album in four years since the number one album ‘Sheezus’ was released. The album was nominated for a Mercury Prize, with the album being one of 12 to be shortlisted for the award. She embarked on a world tour that is yet to finish in Australia in February this year. ‘No Shame’ has been described as Lily's most personal album to date.
And personal it gets from the first track! ‘Come on Then’ goes in deep with its chorus as Allen reflects on how she feels she is perceived by others: "Yeah, I'm a bad mother. I'm a bad wife. You saw it on the socials. You read it online." ‘Trigger Bang’, which features British rapper Giggs, became the lead single for the album and finds Lily reminiscing about growing up and reflecting on the past. The chilled-out hip-hop single really takes you on a mini-journey.
One of the most personal songs on the album is the heartbreaking ‘Apples’, which is one of Allen's most raw and emotional tracks she's ever done. The stripped-back ballad about the break-up with her ex-husband sees Lily really opening up about feeling guilty about what she felt she put him through. At the same time, she expresses her gratefulness for everything he gave her as she expresses he gave her "beautiful babies," while she also sings, "So cliché for me to say, I never meant to break your heart. I'm to blame for all your pain. I never could have played that part." This is followed by ‘Family Man’, where Lily sings again on a similar topic but flips the gender role. The "family man" she's referring to is herself as she admits, "it's not always easy being a family man." Three is a beautiful and heartfelt piano ballad about feeling guilty about leaving your kids at home when you've got to go to work and them feeling like they are being neglected because they've done something wrong. Its simple yet powerful chorus really makes you understand the perspective of what a small child might be feeling: "Please don't go, stay here with me. It's not my fault I'm only three I'm only three I'm only three."
However, not all of ‘No Shame’ is about heartbreak and feeling sad. Some of the more up-tempo songs hear Lily sing on topics she has done previously. ‘Waste’ is a reggae/dancehall-inspired track featuring rapper Lady Chann. Similar to ‘Friend of Mine’, which was taken from Allen's debut ‘Alright, Still,’ the song tells a story about a toxic friend and what they put her through as she expresses they "went too far, can't undo. The things you've done, no, you put me through hell." Near the end of the record, Allen seems a lot happier with her life as she reveals she's met someone new that she might consider marrying, having kids with, and growing old with. ‘Pushing Up Daisies’ is a sweet pop song that shows Lily has come full circle and that there is hope for a happy ending.