The sidebar heading on Slate read “The Ongoing Lame-ification of Liz Phair,” which is pretty funny.
Her new album, Somebody’s Miracle is reviewed there. Douglas Wolk writes
For the last decade, Phair has been alternately trying to approximate what made Guyville so special and rebelling against it. Her 2003 effort, Liz Phair, was one of those attempts at rebellion. The result was a slick, airbrushed record that pandered to contemporary hit radio, played up Phair’s sexy bad-girl image, and dismissed virtually all of the psychological and musical complexity that made her songs and performances so entrancing in the first place.
Her new album, Somebody’s Miracle (Capitol), is something of a retrenchment, one part taut songwriting and two parts radio-formula-retreading mush. The production that frames Phair’s inalienable gifts as a melodist is the kind of lavish, high-budget, post-Eagles rock that she’s gravitated toward for the last decade, and this time it mostly works.
Her debute album, Exile In Guyville came out 12 years ago, which is an eternity in today’s terms. The fact that people are still comparing her records (unfavorably) to her first release makes me wonder what fate awaits some of the new bands whose debut albums are praised so lavishly. Where will Arcade Fire be in 10 years? Wolf Parade? CYHSY? Just sayin’….
But of course, Liz Phair still looks good mostly topless (NSFW).
PREVIOUSLY: Liz Phair’s new album