Liz Phair

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Liz Phair Image
Metascore
40

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 95 Ratings

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  • Summary: The far-from-prolific singer-songwriter's fourth album finds a 36-year-old Liz Phair trying to be... Avril Lavigne? Yes, her sound has changed quite a bit since her acclaimed 1993 debut 'Exile in Guyville,' taking on a glossy pop sheen on this release, thanks to production by the Matrix (asThe far-from-prolific singer-songwriter's fourth album finds a 36-year-old Liz Phair trying to be... Avril Lavigne? Yes, her sound has changed quite a bit since her acclaimed 1993 debut 'Exile in Guyville,' taking on a glossy pop sheen on this release, thanks to production by the Matrix (as well as Michael Penn and Pete Yorn, we might add--but the Matrix????). Expand

Top Track

Why Can't I?
Get a load of me, get a load of you Walking down the street, and I hardly know you It's just like we were meant to be Holding hands with you, and... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 21
  2. Negative: 11 out of 21
  1. Entertainment Weekly
    91
    An honestly fun summer disc. [Jun 27/Jul 4 2003, p.136]
  2. Blender
    80
    Beneath the highlights, she's still a messy troublemaker whose brain is as spicy as the rest of her body. [#17, p.146]
  3. Spin
    67
    Boilerplate MOR.... But what Liz Phair delivers is authenticity. [Jul 2003, p.107]
  4. Q Magazine
    30
    Embarrassing. [Dec 2003, p.134]
  5. Worst of all, the album closes with three decent songs, reminders of Phair's talent that are muted by what's come before.
  6. Under The Radar
    20
    Upon hearing the endless barrage of banalities on Liz Phair, it's hard not to feel scorned by the trite and shrill pop songwriting. [#5, p.106]
  7. Liz Phair proves so ultimately unnecessary, it might as well not even exist.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 72
  2. Negative: 19 out of 72
  1. MichaelO
    Jul 10, 2003
    10
    A well produced pop album. So what is wrong about wanting to spread your fan base? Infectious hooks, interesting because her father is chair A well produced pop album. So what is wrong about wanting to spread your fan base? Infectious hooks, interesting because her father is chair of infectious disease at Northwestern University Medical Center in Chicago. I love this CD. Great Summer listening. Expand
  2. jr
    Nov 11, 2005
    10
    unfairly criticized. there's a lot of smarts underneath the shiny production. a very fun record.
  3. TAE
    Dec 6, 2010
    10
    MEAT you truly are a meathead. No it's no OK Computer but don't call someone a moron and that go off and try to make Pavement look likeMEAT you truly are a meathead. No it's no OK Computer but don't call someone a moron and that go off and try to make Pavement look like they're so groundbreaking and influencial. All there are is Sonic Youth with Ben Stein as the lead singer instead of Thurston or Kim. Liz will never be anything like Pavement and thank God for that. Liz has actual passion and emotion which is something Pavement no NOTHING about. SELLING OUT to Pavement would be if they actually sang instead of sounding like they're going into a coma. Liz was starting to sound that way in Guyville: "Baby I'm Tired!!!!!!!!!!!!!....of fighting." Yeah I'm starting to like Guyville a bit more than I used to but like all her albums minus spaceegg it is flawed. It's not teeny booper and thank God it's not lo-fi. She's making money. Lo Fi is for bands who are struggling. When you make money you use it to produce higher quality albums and as long as it's good who cares if it's pop. PJ Harvey was one of the most acclaimed and respected artists of the last 15 years. Her music is still great but she doesn't have the following she used to. It's hard being a female musican to keep the "fans" interested in you after all these years and even critics will ignore you no matter how good an album you make ("White Chalk") and Liz here, even if you consider her to be at her worst, made an album better than anything Pavement will ever put out. Expand
  4. RicoA
    Aug 12, 2005
    8
    I really can't understand all the negative reviews, this is a good cd. Yes, it's not Exile nor Whip nor white, but it's still I really can't understand all the negative reviews, this is a good cd. Yes, it's not Exile nor Whip nor white, but it's still smart and catchy and Liz. Maybe people are feeling betrayed because she's not fitting into their pigeonholed view of her as ass-kicker? Expand
  5. Aug 14, 2010
    6
    The sound is surprisingly good. Liz slides into this radio friendly sound well and it's catchy and fun. A roll down the windows pop knockoutThe sound is surprisingly good. Liz slides into this radio friendly sound well and it's catchy and fun. A roll down the windows pop knockout and it's all helped by *gasp* the producers sparkly, layered pop production skills but...the lyrics are awful. they are like a parody of her earlier work and induce cringes on occasion and after such a great trilogy of albums before it, it doesn't matter how catchy and shiny it is. it lacks what made Liz great which leaves this as simply a catchy pop album and a confusingly shallow one at that. Expand
  6. stacyd
    Jul 25, 2003
    3
    Let me start by saying that even after 10 years I still pull out "Exile" and listen to it. It is that good. "Whipsmart" is not far behind it, Let me start by saying that even after 10 years I still pull out "Exile" and listen to it. It is that good. "Whipsmart" is not far behind it, and I still pull it out from time to time as well. However, I haven't listened to "whitechocolatespaceegg" in forever, and I can tell that after about 1 month, Liz Phair's latest will also be collecting dust on my shelf. I had a feeling that I was going to be disappointed after hearing the first single off the album, "Why Can't I", which did not even remotely resemble anything Phair had ever done before, but I was willing to give her my money, mostly out of past loyalty, and I don't completely regret it. There is at least one memorable song on the album......"Little Digger" and a few catchy tunes that I am ashamed to admit have gotten stuck in my head, but now that Liz has made her first truly forgettable pop album, can we conclude this experiment, please!! Liz, don't walk into the light. Stay away from the light! Come back to the dark side. You're needed here. We already have a world filled with Avril's, Michelle's, and Kelly's, but there was only one Liz Phair, and I am sorry to say that she is missing in action. Expand
  7. ChristineR
    Jun 15, 2003
    0
    What a superficial album! The music and vocals are so glossy and overproduced, they're lifeless. The lyrics are lame and predictable. What a superficial album! The music and vocals are so glossy and overproduced, they're lifeless. The lyrics are lame and predictable. These are the kind of songs you'd expect from a 16 yr old who's just starting out, not an almost 40 yr old who should be able to write with more intelligence and maturity. Liz obviously wants to appeal to the teenyboppers who love Avril. Which means dumbing everything down and making the songs as bland and accessible to the masses as possible. Shame on you Liz. Expand

See all 72 User Reviews