Funstyle - Liz Phair

Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 10
  2. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. Not everything here works, not by a long shot, but the overall impression is that Liz Phair has finally reconnected with the spirit of Girlysound--which, contrary to popular opinion, wasn't all serious--and is on her way to once again being a compelling artist unafraid to take risks.
  2. With Funstyle, she has crafted above all else an experience, and one that is entertaining and rewarding in ways that few records can be. It's an arduous listen, and as music it is unquestionably terrible; but as a musical experience, it's something that shouldn't be missed.
  3. Although the four infamous tracks might be regarded as novelties in the Liz Phair repertoire, the entire album plays as a fascinating experimental work of an artist trying to dodge your negative abuses by coming at it from unexpected angles.
  4. These tough-to-decipher tracks don't feel like mistakes; they're attempts at something new, and any one could lead Phair somewhere interesting. Scattered among them are songs in which she sticks to what she does best, and they'll satisfy any fan who puts down her preconceptions and takes the time to find them.
  5. Dec 22, 2010
    Funstyle's what would happen if M.I.A. joined a musical sequence on Saved by the Bell.
  6. Phair has never taken herself even half as seriously as the straight, white, male rock press always has, which goes a long way in explaining why she's disappointed so many since she was branded a rock goddess in the early '90s. And Funstyle, though interesting, is unlikely to change that.
  7. Mar 17, 2011
    Hunted by cryptomusicologists with a zeal once reserved for Zimmerman's Basement musings and the Pixies' purple phase, this addition is alluring.
  8. It's a jumble of snarky (and funny) music-business skits and raps, junky computerized samples, tuneful near-pop songs with awkwardly overstuffed production, thudding cliches and, in tantalizing fragments, glimmers of her unsettling insight into character flaws, including her own.
  9. Possibly the saddest thing about Funstyle is that the seven straighter songs those experiments surround have just as little to recommend them.
  10. Maybe Funstyle will be liberating for her; maybe, as with Self Portrait, her deck-clearing exercise will let her shake off aspects of the way she's understood that she finds burdensome. At the very least, it's a shrewd way to lower expectations. After this, whatever she does next can only be a pleasant surprise.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Oct 19, 2010
    The album is a mess. An uneven collection of solid Liz Phair music. Haphazardly thrown together, the album contains uproarious humor and satire, beautiful ballads, flat out rock, a little R and B with some funk thrown in, pop, and some sonic experiments. It's fresh, original, interesting, and a return to Phair's early, loose Girlysound days, hence the inclusion of 10 Girlysound tracks to, without doubt, draw comparisons too. Not a great album, but a damn good one! Full Review »
  2. Mar 11, 2012
    I like this album, but I dislike it at the same time. It is a definite mess. But, I have to say, It is very creative. It is a creative album, just not Liz at her best. Full Review »
  3. Oct 25, 2010
    Much more interesting than anything she has done in the past decade. Although I'm not a huge fan of the satirical "spoken word" songs, at least they are intriguing and full of the old Liz humor that has been missing for far to long. The rest of the album is full of decent Liz tunes. I like how she took chances on a couple of the tracks. "My, My" is a nice departure for Liz and "Bang, Bang" is a very good electronica influenced experiment. "And He Slayed Her" and "Oh, Bangldesh" are two of the best tunes I've heard from her in several years. It's an enjoyable and fun listen. The Girlysound stuff is awesome also. Glad she included it. Full Review »