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Lily Allen: Tomorrow's Pop Today

British pop import Lily Allen exudes swaggering star quality.
British pop import Lily Allen exudes swaggering star quality.

Though she remains relatively obscure in the U.S., Lily Allen has spent the summer establishing herself as queen of the U.K. pop-music scene. Having already attracted blog- and press-fueled hype to rival that preceding Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," it's easy to imagine Allen (already a fixture in British tabloids) becoming a major star here. The daughter of comedian Keith Allen, she exudes swaggering star quality, both in interviews and on her debut album, Alright, Still.

Fortunately, the disc is also massively appealing, mixing the pop fizz of Bananarama, the gritty storytelling of The Streets and the bouncily rocking ska of No Doubt. Her U.K. hit "Smile," a stylishly breezy pop song with a summery groove, functions as the perfect musical kiss-off to an unfaithful lover. It works on a number of levels — an anthem for the jilted, a declaration of independence — but it's best suited to serve as an irresistible filler of dance floors for many months to come.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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Bruce Warren is assistant general manager for programming of WXPN in Philadelphia. Besides serving as executive producer of World Café, Warren also contributes to Paste magazine and writes for two blogs: Some Velvet Blog and WXPN's All About The Music Blog.