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Wednesday · June 18 2003

I'm only half way through my first listen of Liz's new album (eponymously titled) and I can tell she's trying too hard. Exile in Guyville was the most brilliant thing I'd heard at the time it came out. And it was from a female songwriter. And she was from Chicago. Obsession ensued. Whipsmart was still raw Liz, lyrics and music. Then the material dried up. I kept interested with Juvenalia, Girlysounds, etc.

hiatus -- Liz had a baby -- hiatus

Liz released Whitechocolatespaceegg. It was catchy at first, but got boring quickly. The glossy production, the grown up themes, wtf? Where was the cute north shore rebel girl who strummed chords to songs about sex and made me ask, "did she just say 'wrap you up in plastic'"?

Her new album, released 4 years after Wcse, is just as slickly produced. I read that she's using the same producer as Avril Lavigne and it clearly shows. That's not really a good thing. The lo-fi sound is definitely in the past, but she has brought the pottymouth back. It sounds a bit forced and planned out, as in "ok, don't let your mom hear this one, Liz is going to say bad words now". On Exile, "Flower" shocked me (best use ever of the word minion in a song). Now she has to name her songs "White Hot" (my period in there to keep the sex-googlers away) to get our attention.

The verses of "Firewalker" are probably the best vintage Liz sound on the CD. "Rock me" has a pretty good line as well, "Your record collection doesn't exist, you don't even know who Liz Phair is".

I've grown up in the last 10 years, I'm sure Liz has too. In that case, I'll cut her some slack and just enjoy the record.

Archived: Listen » June 2003
What you had to say:
June 19 2003

i've only heard 2 songs on the radio. madonna,
wanna be pop idol, seventeen & tigerbeat magazine come to mind. exile is her masterpiece and each cd since gets a little more disappointing (in my opinion!). i haven't read why she moved back to L.A., another bummer. ok, i'm done roasting liz over the coals (at least until i hear another track).

June 19 2003

The more I listen to the record, the more I think that the line in "Rock Me" should be "*I* don't know who Liz Phair is". This latest release pales when I listen to Exile. It's probably not fair of me to make the comparison, but it's still true.

My reaction is to defend Liz because I've always been such a huge fan, but taking the record on its own's another letdown.

That's not Phair -- His review is right on.

June 25 2003

Yeah, saw that a couple days ago. I just realized in my comment above, I didn't include the link I meant to include. Here it is...

© 2003 Jason Keglovitz