- Summary: Liz Phair left Capitol Records in 2008. She released her latest batch of songs on the Internet in July 2010. The CD release includes the Girlysound Tapes, which are some of her earliest cassettes recordings.
- Record Label: Rocket Science
- Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter
- More Details and Credits »
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oct 20, 2010I like this record very much, and I'm glad Liz Phair has once again put out an album that she has complete control over. It's been awhile! Ms. Phair has always marched to her own drumbeat, even when critics called her a 'sellout'. She probably has no business being in the alligator pool of the music industry, because the critics and many listeners expect something of her that she has no interest in providing. Strange to say, maybe, but her best songs hang right up there with Dylan's, IMHO. And... all her records have examples of this quality.… Expand
Oct 25, 2010Much 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.… Expand
Oct 19, 2010The 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!… Expand
Oct 25, 2010I have to give Liz Phair credit for trying something different on this album, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a gigantic mess. Standard pop rock songs are mixed in with odd mixes of hip-hop, dance, R & B, etc. that are intended to serve as a skewering of the music business as well as our current pop culture obsessions. The problems is that the pop songs are substandard and the mash ups are just dreadful. Even if she's doing it in an ironic fashion, Phair should never attempt to rap. I respect the artistic ambition, but the results leave a lot to be desired.… Collapse
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