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Lily Allen’s Fluttering ‘Air Balloon’ Video Finds Jesus in Outer Space

Lily Allen, "Air Balloon," video

Lily Allen’s sing-songy new single “Air Balloon” calls for us to break free from the everyday, so naturally the video couldn’t just do the obvious. Happy to say it does just about the opposite. Instead of, you know, drifting off in an air balloon, the British singer frolics in South Africa in a giddy clip that features butterflies (Prince’s best friend), a zebra, and a leopard. Then, as the Shellback (Taylor Swift, Robyn, Britney Spears) synth flutters to an end, she’s in outer space, where she encounters a Space Odyssey monolith-like figure of what looks to be Jesus Christ on the cross. Something to do with the Kurt Cobain and Elvis name-checks in the lyrics, maybe? The helium-hearted clip gives a lift — partly courtesy of extra time with that insistent “na na” hook — to a song that initially came off as relatively earthbound, and it’s welcome after yesterday’s arrival of the smug-in-love Girls song “L8 CMMR.” And, as with just about everything Allen does, there’s the potential for further watercooler chatter: Where her recent “Hard Out Here” video drew criticism over its portrayal of race, the crucifix here cries out for a response from the constantly outraged Catholic League. Or they could just come meet her in the sky, up in her … well, let her sing it.