That’s Not Phair!

UnphairLiz PhairLiz Phair (Capitol)

It’s always been Liz Phair’s greatest trick to entice with a come hither finger, only to kick you in the balls when you get close enough to kiss her. The real kicker? She always leaves you wanting more. This is partly why her two albums since the landmark debut Exile in Guyville were so eagerly anticipated, and it’s also why her latest, the long-awaited, eponymous followup to 1998’s Whitechocolatespaceegg, is so contentious for longtime Phair observers. It flirts around—and occasionally fucks—with her own reputation/history, but it’s also Liz’s most brazen stab yet at mainstream acceptance. Liz Phair, then, becomes a problem record for both audiences. The fanboys are pissed because they have to share even more of their girl with Jetta-driving Sheryl Crow fans. Meanwhile, blanket-hogging mainstreamers might be confused by the record’s sudden rights and lefts down alleys of blue language and hot sex. Phair herself has made her desire for a larger audience clear. But by strip mining her past for a cash money future—and delivering some of the weakest material of her career in the process—she just may have alienated both sides of the bed.

“Rock Me” defines well Phair’s new direction. Co-written with big timers The Matrix (the songwriting team behind Avril Lavigne’s breakthrough singles), the track marries classic Liz behavior to a saccharine, mid-tempo rocker that’s pleasingly boring. In it, she details her relationship with a twentysomething goof without a dime to his name. “Your record collection don’t exist,” she sings over the Matrix’ trademark vocal processing and instrumental squiggles. “You don’t even know who Liz Phair is.” There’s that kick in the balls to all the types who like to think indie chicks need to be into indie guys. Here’s Phair—heroine of a scene—exchanging the importance of a solid record collection in favor of stamina and the naivety and promise of youth. The horror!

In reality, this isn’t that big of a deal. As important an album as Exile is, an artist is allowed to grow beyond her signature work or core audience in search of something more to say. But Phair’s five-year search seems only to have lessened the force of that satisfying crotch kick. Musically, “Rock Me”—like much of Liz Phair—is startlingly bland. Like so much of the Matrix’ work, it’s micro-managed to appeal to the most ears possible, sacrificing individuality along the way. Phair’s voice is still amazing and her particular lyrical delivery style intact. But over “Rock Me”‘s phoned-in, PG arrangement, it sounds like an impersonation of her own proudly NC-17 past. The collective’s three other contributions fare little better. “Favorite” is smiley ode to comfy underwear that alienates male listeners in the same way “Sex and the City” does viewers, while first single “Why Can’t I?” is a near re-write of “It’s About Time”, which the team recently penned for Maverick‘s young girl-rock combo Lillix. “Extraordinary” does open the album with a rousing, dirty guitar line and some coy, Phair-style lyrical interplay. But it too dilutes Phair’s proto-feminist self image sloganeering to simple, easy-to-swallow catchphrases. It’s like the CliffsNotes version of Exile‘s “Mesmerizing”.

Outside writing contributions aside, there are some great moments on Liz Phair that can be enjoyed by both fan camps with little bickering. “Love/Hate”‘s “Dream Police”-style synths and rousing chorus make it an instant summer mix tape favorite, but it’s “Little Digger” that’s the album’s dark horse standout. The quiet, mid-album number is drenched in melody, and makes fabulous use of Phair’s expressive voice. It’s the kind of song that gives you butterflies, only to take them away with a shot of reality. One of the album’s only nods to Phair’s role as a mother, it’s a divorcee’s appeal to her child for understanding about a new romance. But “Little Digger” is also the emotional opposite to a track like “H.W.C.,” which professes Liz’s love of a certain man-made skin cream that’s so far unapproved by the FDA. The track’s acoustic bounce is catchy, but where the cheeky sing-a-long chorus might have once been catchy, here it seems contrived, like a facelift that’s too obvious.

Like Jewel’s recent, confusing application of her folky songcraft to glittering dance-pop divadom, Phair seems to think marrying her famous “fuck it, I’ll say it” attitude to newly accessible (i.e., forgettable) music will be her ticket to the mainstream audience she’s apparently always desired. But aside from leaving older fans in her wake, the material just isn’t very strong, simply as good music. The intent is also confusing. Is the young stud of “H.W.C.” and “Rock Me” the same guy who plays trucks with Phair’s young son in “Little Digger”?

Whether or not Liz Phair succeeds probably comes down to tricks of marketing and label money spent. We can dismiss this as the uncontrollable force that it is. What’s more important is whether it’s successful aesthetically, both to Phair’s existing fanbase and to whatever new ones arrive because of it. Her voice is still strong, her reputation as the lovably cynical pottymouth intact. But Phair too often sounds like a hackneyed, nostalgia tour version of herself, working her way through weak adult pop that’s peppered with famously self-satisfied, unflinching lyricisms that sound more like a cry for help than a confident come-on.


Check out previous Glorious Noise articles about the recording of this album: Exile in Hitsville: xxoo Liz Phair and Potentially Scary News for Liz Phair Fans. You can listen to some of the new songs on Liz Phair’s site.

69 thoughts on “That’s Not Phair!”

  1. In the wake of releases like this it is not uncommon to hear artists claim that they are growing out of their brash and brazen roots. Maturity is taking over. It’s something I’ve heard from Metallica to Weezer. I know that Phair has made claims like this in the past regarding her second and third albums. I honestly believe that in many cases this is nothing but an excuse. Big time Clear Channel Pop Producers make either Clear Channel Pop or just plain crap.

    I’m affraid to even listen to it.

    Oh Liz! Why did you have to monkey with the Matrix?

  2. Scotty…you should be afraid to listen to it…or dont listen to it at all…you would probably be better off..Its an amazingly bad album…probably the biggest disappointment in recent memory…I know Chan Marshall would never do this to me..

  3. Lame attempt at stardom. When I read here quote in Entertainmant Weekly stating that “(She) is no longer about the music” I smelled trouble.

  4. Yeah, looks like she’s straight offa Rolling Stone’s “women in rock” cover. Hmm, scantily clad, posed behind a guitar. If Christina Aguilera and Avril Lavigne jumped off a bridge, would you jump too, Liz? Hey, there’s an idea.

  5. Oh come on, you can’t dog her for the album cover. She showed half a nipple on the cover of Exile back in 93! Liz has never been shy about using sex to sell records.

  6. Jake,

    The problem is the execution. Where Exile had that grainy, totally sexy but Indie feel to it. The cover of this album does look an awful lot like a RS cover.

    Having not heard the album, I can’t comment on anything else except how hot Liz is.

  7. You’re right. I wonder who shot the new cover… The Exile cover was taken in a photo booth in Chicago. How come there are never any topless girls in the photo booth at Schubas?

  8. Hell, they may not be topless but all my best photos are taken in that booth at Schubas.

    Ok sorry for the sidetrack. Everything I keep reading about Liz’s new album scares me more and more. I’m pissed enough she waited five years to put one out. hell, I’m still fuming she left Chicago for L.A. Traitor. So what else did we expect? And you know what, I agree with Johnny, she will completely alienate everyone with this album. She should have come home and made something her real fans could appreciate. Because I know too many of them already aren’t touching it.

    I refuse to even listen to this album. nope, nope,nope.

  9. I’ve never been a Phair fan, so the bar wasn’t very high. I’ve checked out a couple tunes on Pressplay (Why Can’t I & Rock You) and neither tune changed my mind.

    Both songs definitely sound like Avril Lavigne ditties.

    Needless to say, I won’t pick up the new disc. But yeah, she is definitely attractive!

  10. I can’t stand that cover photo. The requisite “CBGBs” (cha) shirt. The lederhosen/parachute thing (wtf is that?). The fact that she looks like a poor man’s Meg Ryan or a rich man’s Dave Pirner (I do think she’s cute, in general).

    Sounds like the record has three good tunes; I’ll wait to bum it off a friend.

  11. The album is produced by The Matrix, the same production team that brought the world Avril Lavigne’s last record. And it sounds just like that shit. She’s really hit bottom.

    There are photos floating around of Liz wearing a t-shirt with the number 45. Accompanying these photos is a picture of Avril with the same t-shirt. It’s sad.

  12. She does look like Meg Ryan! But just as cute, I think.

    I don’t mind her sexy image thing at all. In a weird way she’s never been that photogenic, so I’m glad just to see her get a good shot of herself on a record. The clothes may be a bit pretentious, but what do you wear when you’re Liz Phair? She’s always been slippery to categorize, maybe to herself as well, which might have resulted in those odd shots of her wrapped in a Navajo blanket posing among rocks on whitechocolatespaceegg. Whaat? Was that some earth mother thing? But in high heels? It made no sense to me.

    When I heard she’d gotten divorced and was hanging out with sulky 20-somethings in the East Village, I was excited about her return to the subject matter that made Exile so great. But you can’t turn back the clock and as Johnny says, why should she? It’s too bad it sounds like the album is so tepid, but I salute her for — um, for what? For writing a song called “Little Digger” about her son, for one thing. Perfect metaphor for the questions of a little kid toward their newly single parent.

  13. Citizen Keith, just to clarify, only four of the songs on the album were produced by the Matrix. Two were self-produced and the rest were split between Michael Penn and R. Walt Vincent.

  14. I own Exile, but never really got too into Liz Phair, so the letdown of this album isn’t too great for me. I feel for you real fans, because if these are the best three songs she could pick to demo the new record, boy does it ever suck. Sound just like the crap I hear blasting from the car stereos of the college kids who live next door. Anyway, cool that those three tracks on her Web site, keeps me from even having to waste the time trying to find anything from the new album on gnutella.

  15. On the other hand, after I’ve heard “Why Can’t I” about 1,000 times too many, I’m still probably going to enjoy it more than “Oops I Did It Again.”

  16. LOL, she really does look kinda like Dave Pirner! …she shoulda skipped the CBGB’s shirt and just worn one that says, “Hi, I’m trying too hard.”

  17. I like the new album, so sue me. I think Exile is far better though.

    Liz Phair is kind of a hard person to categorize and I think she’s been hard for her record companies to sell and package. A lot of people don’t like the old dirty Liz and a lot of people hate the new cleaner, more mature Liz.

    She doesn’t have one particular style or look. She looks different in every photo- sometimes she’s really ugly, sometimes gorgeous. Her clothes are different too.

    I’ll always support her, even if this album majorly flops (which I can see it doing)

  18. I used to be a fan, but after listening to those three tracks, (okay, I didn’t listen so much as skim), she’s clearly lost her mind.

    Even if she wanted to leave her indie roots behind, does that preclude her from making good music? It shouldn’t.

    Accessibility doesn’t have to equal crap, though yes, it’s generally a pretty good barometer. This album promises to be a good case in point.

    On the Avril comparison, at least Avril is young and naive; possibly unaware of the corrosive effect her dreck has on impressionable young minds. But Liz should know better. Think of the children, Liz. The sweet innocent children.


  19. As I sit here and watch/listen to the vid of

    “Why Can’t I” all I can do is pity poor Liz.

    It’s funny, like Jewel, that she wants to compete for the attention of kids half her age.

    Forget maturing as an artist when you are in a hurry to erase your past and hope that the current pop radio listener/TRL watcher is impressed by you in your Ver. 2.0 form and motivated enough to buy your cd.

    This is definately the re-branding of Liz, and it’s really too bad for reasons previously stated.

    Considering the amount of this stuff out there, I’m guessign she’s gonna bomb out b/c her old fans will have nothing to do with her, and 17 yr old girls have already had their fill of Avril last year and are looking for something new to set them apart from their peer group.

    We’ll see….


    Methinks “Hot White Cum” sounds clicktracked, protooled, and thoroughly rote. Lyricaly, it’s “Supernova” all ova again, just add nasty language (which sounds hapless and out-of-place).

    So her son gets a little older to hear the one good song on the record about him and then has to listen to mom talk about blowjobs and cum. Congrats, Mom! How can someone be so simultaneously smart & clueless? Vanity, mes amis!

  21. well, the album is out a week in that tor**nt community

    and if EVERY song would have the power of the 1st song “Extraordinary”

    (which i would classify as “POWER-POP”)

    then i would say YES, YES & 1 more YES … !

    i further think that “Extraordinary” may hit the top 10 across the world if powered with a -uhm- kind-of-sexy video.

    what is to complain about that ?

    look at madonna.

    look at sheryl crow.

    look at avril in 10 years.

    look at

    yes, she’s looking like meg ryan.

    meg ryan would like to look more like liz nowadays, i’d swear.

    if this isn’t the moment “to-go-out-and-harvest” when will that moment for a 36-old-with-family ever be ?

    what the heck should she do ?

    sit at home and write lyrics ?

    painting pictures ?

    but surely i’d like to see her constantly in (hollywood) movies …

    anyway, she should DO some more (*arrrghhh*) “POP”, yes.

    run, liz, run.

    … just 5 cents from “Old Europe” …

  22. ive had a nerdy indie-rock crush on liz phair since about 11th grade.

    initially exile/whip-smart was the reason i fell in love with her, but at this point, i really dont want to hear anymore. she has lost all cred, but the soft-core images are fun to oogle.

  23. Its funny, because if word would never got out about Liz working with The matrix, nobody would be saying bo diddly! They would all be awaiting Liz’s release as usual. I have heard 8 of the 14 tracks and although I don’t particularly care for the first single “Why Can’t I”, the other 7 are great and could have been on WCSE or WS and nobody would have said a damn thing. Oh well, your loss, keep being that music snob that thinks the more obscure the better. Meanwhile I will be blasting “Rock Me” and “Bionic Eyes” out my car stereo this summer! Caio suckas!

  24. you ever notice that almost every photo Liz Phair has put out, her hair is in front of her face and her head is tilted back so the viewers can’t see how truly collosal and bulbous that nose of hers is. She really must thank her stylists for creating these great photos over her.

  25. this is the maker or breaker for her. she’s alienated her old fan base, lillith fair is over, and she’s taking the risk of going mainstream, which, more than ever, eats artists alive.

    i think i can get around the blunt “this is me”-ness of her new record, but i can’t say i’m compelled to buy or even download it. i just don’t care anymore.

  26. Well I did download some songs. Forget which ones…They all sound like Avril. I’m not against change but this is a complete sellout. Not just a sea change in genre but a complete makeover(?) in terms of quality.

    Well she has one fan less…

  27. I think she’s trying to emulate PJ Harvey’s style but unfortunately, Liz’s music is not on par with PJ’s. God, Liz’s back up vocals on her latest song sound frightenly close to Shania Twain! Yuck!

    I’m sticking with PJ Harvey.

  28. I’ve “borrowed” 5 tracks from the net and they’re all so polished and shiny and multi-tracked and overproduced. This ain’t the old Phair, no doubt, but the new one sucks. Thanks Liz, but if I wanted to hear some Michelle Branch I would have bought her album. If you were to cue up two singles from each artist and flip from one to the other, they’d blend seemlessly.

    How Liz thinks she’s gonna sell to the teeners that listen to ClearChannel/TRL I don’t know. I can only imagine she’s somehow weak and confused and the Capitol sharks oozed pleasantries and production ideas and she went right along with them. That keeps me from thinking she did this all on her own. See you in the bargain bin, Ms. Phair.

  29. I was all set to buy the album in two days when it hits Best Buy, but after reading internet reviews, I’m fairly concerned. I’m still going to buy the album, but whether I listen to it three times (Like Alanis’ most recent album) or 3 million (Like Exile) remains to be seen, although it is looking more and more like the former.

    The whole thing is leaving a bad taste in my mouth already (no gross pun intended. yet). WHC? The Matrix? Polished Pop? Multi-tracks? No Brad Wood? Who the fuck are you and what have you done to Liz Phair?

    The whole thing comes off as being an aging Liz Phair trying to prove to the world that she is still our favorite Blow Job Queen. Unfortunately, dressing like Avril Lavigne and co-writing with The Shit-rix isn’t the way to do that.

    I’ll post a review on my website when I buy it.

  30. I’m afraid to listen to it, as well…. every album since “Guyville” has been far too produced..too glossy for my tastes.. Combine that with a “trying to write for the larger market” attitude =’s a costly lesson.. poor Liz..

  31. I love EXILE and it will always be one of my favorites, and I’m inspired the bravery she had to put it out there. What I’ve heard of the new album is not inspiring me to buy it, but, so what?

    Liz Phair’s always beens pretty blatent about doing what she wants. She joined Lilith when other pottymouth songwriters like Ani Difranco and Courtney Love sniffed that it was stupid to bill women exclusively. She’s been pretty open about her dislike of the indie scene in Chicago. (Exile in GUYVILLE??)

    I think she’s cool for trying something new. She LIKES designer clothing WANTS to mainstream herself and make some cash. I don’t think she made loads of money off of her past efforts. If young girls enamored of girlpop get some glossy user-friendly exposure to Liz, good for her. Putting herself out there like that at her age takes some balls but she certainly has those.

    I don’t think this is the death of her creativity; a lot of musicians fluctuate all over the place in their careers. I hope Liz can write her own check so she can keep on developing.

  32. That’s ridiculous. Susan Sarandon is hot and sexy and she’s about 50.

    This comment thread has now dissed Liz for everything from her fashion sense to being a bad mother, with shots also at her nose and sex appeal (with Anonymous boldly making the most vicious points). Would a male sex kitten get the same vitriol? Yes, her son is going to hear her singing about blowjobs and cum someday. Mick Jagger’s kids have heard him singing about fucking black girls all night, and they, his kids, seem to be fine. Steven Tyler’s daughter is doing quite well. Etc.

    Thank you, May Queen, for pointing out that Liz has always done what she wants to do and left the categorizing to others. She wrote an honest, happy, and pretty catchy album about being a married mother, and now she’s written this. Reputedly, it stinks. Okay, but does she deserve to be thrown in the stocks for trying to sound and look as sexy as she seems to feel?

  33. Kristy, i kind of started laughing when I read your comments about Mick Jaggers kids. No offense.

    But all that could come to mind was the fact that Jade had two kids by the time she was 21, married and divorced the guy, ran around Ibiza and London and every other godforsaken city jetsetting and partying with Kate Moss and Sadie Frost while her kids were at home with the nannies. And Elizabeth had an affair at the age of 18 with a man in his late 40’s all under the watchful eye of “daddy”. I dunno. Doesn’t sound too normal to me.

    Sorry off track there for the moment. Couldn’t help it.

    The fact with Liz is that she already alienated some of her fan base with her absence. With some artists you can’t wait to hear what they put out after such a long time, and well after five years the news started leaking out what she had produced after that absence and people’s interest had begun to fade. It just wasn’t the same Liz. And yeah, artists can evolve over the years with their style but this sounds way too much like she’s trying too hard.

    And will you boys please knock it off with the comments about her looks? good grief. And I mean both the good and the bad.

  34. And Liz was the first to admit it! She admits she wants sales, she admits she wants radio play, she admits it all. Not every person who went to Oberlin is a wallflower!

  35. Susan Sarandon is not hot. She looks like cold rawhide. I don’t even think she was hot in Rocky Horror, what with her eyes all buggin’ out of her head.

    Now those Olsen Twins are HOT!

    Wait, what was the topic again?

  36. Uhhh, Susan “bug-eyed” Sarandon “hot??” What the fuck are you on? Well, I am glad Liz “feels sexy” but she is far from it. Her music used to matter – now it’s garbage.

  37. Charli,

    You’re right, Mick Jagger’s kids could well be in big trouble. I don’t know anything about them; I was using them to make a rhetorical point, i.e. I was talking out of my ass. The kids of artists do often suffer inordinately. Paul Newman’s son killed himself, and there are countless parallels — Wm. Burroughs’ son, Mary Tyler Moore’s son, etc.

    I was just kind of twitching under the scarlet A people seemed to be applying to Liz.

    Anonymous, why does it torture you that I think Susan Sarandon is beautiful? Doesn’t it soothe you that Scotty thinks she has bugged out eyes too? I think you’re really upset about something else. I think you need to spend some time with yourself — you, Anonymous.

  38. Ok, so we have all firmly established that Exile in Guyville was an excellent album. And everyone has complained that her new selftitled album is just so awful. you wine and you moan about how it’s not the liz phair you know or the matrix’ avril lavigne thing. Just get over it! what do you want her to do? Just release the same album over and over again? Because you know for a fact that if all of her albums sounded like EG, you would be wining and moaning that they all sound the same. I give her props for doing something different. Let her do whatever the f*** she wants to do. Because she will anyway. That’s the Liz Phair that I know.

  39. Liz Phair’s Exile in Avril-ville:

    “Yet Ms. Phair’s appeal has always lain in her idiosyncrasies. When it comes to rock, we’re used to wincing at stars dressed up in packaging that masks a lack of talent. Here, the wince comes instead from watching a genuine talent dressed in bland packaging. The album lacks the distinctive flair and sass of Ms. Phair’s earlier work, and has little of its savvy insight. The songs are catchy, replete with pop hooks, but they’re relentlessly peppy, and often Ms. Phair sounds as over-carbonated as a 13-year-old full of Diet Coke and Pop Rocks. The slick production diminishes her boldness the same way those child-size T-shirts emblazoned with the word ‘Sexy’ always seem to make a mockery of their wearers. Her fantastically expressive diffidence has been replaced with a smooth and characterless tunefulness, pitch-corrected all the way through.”

  40. “Yeah, meanies, lay off Liz, she can do what she wants!!” Sure she can, but the album still stinks. If the lyrics are trite, the music is cranked out by a machine and sounds like everything else on B-107 or The Buzz 95, does that make it good? No. You can’t defend someone for producing pablum by saying “so what if it’s not like her old music” Her new stuff isn’t bad because it’s different, it’s bad because it’s *bad*.

  41. I for one don’t want her to release the same album again. I would settle for an album worth listening to, though.


    “The first half of Liz Phair is compulsively listenable as pop, if not as the confessional depth that we expect from Phair. ‘Red Light Fever’ and ‘Why Can’t I’ are verse-chorus-verse masterpieces — sugary, insubstantial, and gorgeous. She could be too old to write a song like ‘Why Can’t I,’ which is nothing more than a confession of a teenage crush, and her artifice shows through. Sure, fine, whatever. Kylie Minogue is the same age as Phair, and catches no guff for practicing the same underrated art — that of the dumb hooky love song. It’s pop, goddamnit, and deserves to be considered on no other terms. Looked at from this angle, several of the tracks on Liz Phair are perfect, and deserve to be #1 hits.”

  43. Kill Yer Idols. I was a big fan of the first two albums & never gave Whitechocolate$%^&*( much of a chance. That being said, after hearing “Liz Phair” I was pretty let down.

  44. i REALLY wish i had never heard this album. if you haven’t yet blown your $9.99 (i should have known something was up when i saw it priced that low at Newbury Comics) just PASS IT BY. try.. i don’t know.. Cat Power’s You Are Free maybe instead.

  45. oh, and one more thing.. the links to all versions of “comeandgetit” — the internet EP you’re supposed to be able to download with this album — seem to be dead. is it just me (Internet Explorer on Mac OS X), or is everyone getting the 404 errors?

  46. I definitely agree that this is not Liz Phair. I never dreamed that she would sellout. I mean this is just extremely bad. I mean bad as in “cliche” bad.

    But I still bought the album, I just had to hear it for my self. I just didn’t believe it. Actually the best songs from this album are on the downloadable internet EP that came with the album. It’s COMPLETELY different from the album. No extreme Avril pop riffs at all. I mean, there not the best songs I’ve ever heard, but a slight breath of fresh air from the rest. It’s like she made this attempt to create a candycoated marketable album, but made this EP for her earlier fans.

    They are like 2 different albums. You should at least give them a listen. Its almost like she’s trying to make up for the poppy crap on the actual album and give a taste of the real liz Phair to those that weren’t already familiar with her. The pop stuff is almost like a ploy to lure everyone in.

  47. Ewwww, bad song on Leno last night. Did anyone read the NY Times bashing in Sunday’s paper? If shit-press is what she was after then she got it.

  48. Look, I got nothin’ against women with commercial success (see signature below) and I certainly got nothin’ against repressed indie-snobs who got their panties all in a bundle against said women w/commercial success, but cum on!

    Yeah, Liz hasn’t made a classic album since Exile in Guyville, but then again neither has The Rolling Stones since they made Exile on Main Street. Ironic? Sure. Random coincidence or calculated move? I guess we’ll see. I’d like to think that maybe Liz went from patterning her first album against The Stones’ Exile to patterning her entire career against that of The Stones (albeit in a haphazard conceptual way). Popularity? Check. Sexiness? Check. $$$? Well, who could possibly approach the level of the Stones, but she’s got enough to still rock. Marriage? Check. Kid? Check. Divorce? Check. Fucking groupies younger than her? Check. Radio success? Nope. One of the things she has always dreamed of and has yet to gain is commercial radio success. She has stated repeatedly lately that all she wants to do is keep making music and get on the radio. The Matrix is not the enemy, no more than Timbaland Dr. Dre, The Neptunes, or any other producer or production team that enjoys commercial success is. There’s so much hipocrisy surrounding this topic. Liz doesn’t owe me or you anything. She’s doing what she wants and for her kid. Give her a break. If it works, good for her, if it doesn’t I still respect her for trying.

    I still love the Stones and I’ll always love Liz Phair. And maybe I’m biased, but I’d rather hear her stuff on the radio than Avril and Michelle Branch, so for me there IS a noticeable difference.

  49. terminaljunkie3, I agree that Liz doesn’t have to make music for anyone else but herself, but that’s no reason to hold your tongue if you hate it. I don’t owe Liz Phair a favorable opinion of her music anymore than she owes me a logical progression from “Guyville.”

    And by the way, Liz has said repeatedly that she made this record in a bid to gain sales and get on the radio. It’s calculated, unlike “Guyville” or most of “Whip-Smart,” which didn’t have a hope in hell at getting on the radio. So did she make the music for herself, or for the suits at Capitol and the fans she imagines are out there? Beats me. I just know that the three songs I’ve heard are forgettable, rudimentary radio pap devoid of her earlier idiosyncracy and insight, and I hate it.

  50. I have never been a big Phair fan, but the press this album has received, as well as the skewering in general made me interested enough to hear a few tracks. THe Believer (McSweeny’s new mag) has an interesting interview with her about her thoughts on the production and made her seem a whole heck of a lot more interesting than the album. She did admit that she wanted to be more radio friendly, and these days radio friendly is a kiss of death musically.

  51. IT IS SOOOOO ANNNOYING WHEN THE GLONO STAFF ERASES FUCKING COMMENTS! I would not bother posting here unless I felt it added to the discussion. I forgot the link I posted so I guess that is that.

  52. Dude, your link went to a Liz Phair fan site that had no information about the alleged HWC video. Here’s your link, dipfuck: Where’s the info you were talking about?

    Okay, after searching the hell out of that site, I realized Anonymous was referring to some bullshit rumors in the guestbook:

    Whatever. People need to learn to differentiate between the real poo and the sham poo.

  53. Jake Brown is a maniacal tyrant whose insatiable quest for power and self-aggrandizement is a ceaseless cancer on these boards… and he probably likes Avril Lavigne. And I bet he doesn’t even own “Exile In Guyville.”

    A note to readers: the above is sarcasm, which is frequently misinterpreted on message boards.

  54. All you indie F***s can jump off a bridge. i can’t belive that a person could get mad over an artist because they moved. what does liz moving from chicago have anything to do with the music. i guess you just want her back home with brad baecause you all want exile again. well it will never happen cause liz herself saidwhen she wrote exile she basically did nothing all day but hang in her room and smoke pot and write songs. well now that she has a kid she can’t or at least she chooses to be an adult unlike some of you on here. get this straight: LIZ PHAIR IS NOT YOURS AND YOURS ALONE. YOU DON’T OWN HER. just get off her back already.

  55. I would just like to say that Liz Phair’s voice sounds better than ever on this new cd, and while her production choices may have not been the wisest move in your opinions, she sounds GREAT!!! Her new look is completely her own too. I don’t see her bumping her crotch in our faces like Christina, or over applying the dark eye liner like Avril…she’s just Liz, & she looks damn good with the new style!

    Also, stop picking on artists for choosing to take a new direction in their music. What difference does it make if Liz is finally ready to go mainstream. Look at other artists who’ve done the same, like Sarah McLachlan, for example. Why didn’t everyone dog her for that???

  56. Cummon people?! – It’s not that bad! All you haters out there are either totally ignorant and clueless or just jealous of Liz’s new-found formula for success. Personally, I think this CD rocks! It really dosn’t sound like Avril or Michelle; it’s sounds like Liz Phair. Duh! :-) I’m a big Liz Phair fan. Love her old music; love her new music. True, she has changed with the times, but it’s still the same Liz.

  57. I can’t believe that half of this nonsense was written before the album was released. Man, talk about pent up venom. Apparently she really did piss off a few fans by taking a five year break. In a nutshell, I’d say this represents the current state of her overall evolution that began with the girlysound demo. Is it pop? Sure – so what! I’ve listened to this album about 50 times on my way back and forth to work now. I’m not sick of it yet, and that says something. I think “My Bionic Eyes” rocks and has a great retro sound – it’s my current favorite. There are some good tracks on this album. Does one have to stay indie forever? At some point we’ve all got to pay the mortgage… Rock on, Liz! I’ll see you in Boston at the Avalon.

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