Allen has always been one of the few pop stars who’s capable of solid social satire without compromising her songcraft, and “Hard Out Here” doesn’t disappoint to that end: It’s a withering takedown of body image pressures and misogyny in the entertainment industry, making its point flawlessly with just a few choice lines and images. “Hard Out Here” is self-conscious and self-deprecating but stops just short of being caustic, built around an earworm of a chorus hook with typically smart, funny lyrics in the verses.
The video opens with Allen, in full glam-chav style (looking like Jessie J, frankly) getting liposuction, and it just gets better from there, borrowing imagery from rap videos to ingenious effect. (It’s not far off from Jewel‘s “Intuition” video, but dangerously more effective.) In particular, her take on Robin Thicke‘s “Blurred Lines” video — with balloon letters spelling out “LILY ALLEN HAS A BAGGY PUSSY” — is laugh-out-loud funny.
“Hard Out Here” is maybe her most damning song yet — and it’s all but impossible to dislike. This is how you make a comeback.
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