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Lily Allen softened hard-hitting track with Keane cover

Lily Allen's chart-topping cover version of Keane's track Somewhere Only We Know was a calculated attempt to quell potential outrage over her expletive-laden comeback song.

The Smile singer is making her return to the spotlight after taking four years off to have children with her husband Sam Cooper, and she planned to release controversial single Hard Out Here for her big return in November (13).

However, Allen knew the track's racy promo and lyrics, which deal with the sexualisation of young women in the music industry, would cause a stir, so she also recorded a sugary version of Keane's hit and released it a week before her own song.

It was used as the soundtrack of the 2013 Christmas TV commercial for U.K. department store John Lewis, and Allen is delighted the tactic worked.

She tells Britain's Elle magazine, "I took the John Lewis job because I knew I had Hard Out Here, which wasn't a radio record because it has the word 'b**ch' in it 72 times. I wanted people to go, 'Oh she's done exactly what we thought she would do.' Then, bam! Four days later, I'm in a controversial video."

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