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Liz Phair Image
Metascore
40

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

User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 82 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 Walkin' 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: 32 out of 51
  2. Negative: 13 out of 51
  1. JillK
    Oct 11, 2003
    10
    I loved this CD it rocked I love the song "why cant I" and every girl knows when she thinks about that special someone, she takes a breath I loved this CD it rocked I love the song "why cant I" and every girl knows when she thinks about that special someone, she takes a breath and holds it in just wishing and hoping that their guy was there with them... Expand
  2. JeremiC
    Mar 23, 2007
    10
    What the f***k! Im a huge fan of Liz Phair and this album is her BEST! It contains very catching pop songs and is as explicit and sexual as I What the f***k! Im a huge fan of Liz Phair and this album is her BEST! It contains very catching pop songs and is as explicit and sexual as I always loved it ! Im tired of stupid and fancy artfags critics that judge something good just because it is different, but in fact it is crap ! I really recommend this album for good pop lovers and especially for Liz fans because she gave her Best for this one ! Go LIZ PHAIR ! FUCK METACRITIC !!! Expand
  3. Aug 5, 2022
    10
    I don't understand all of the backlash this album got. There are so many good songs on here. This is Liz Phair's best album. Standouts includeI don't understand all of the backlash this album got. There are so many good songs on here. This is Liz Phair's best album. Standouts include Love/Hate, My Bionic Eyes, It's Sweet, Why Can't I, and Rock Me. Firewalker and Good Love Never Dies are songs that don't fit for this album but Firewalker is somewhat decent for this album. This album should not have gotten the criticism that it did. Expand
  4. Delysid
    Mar 1, 2006
    8
    Rico A. hit the nail on the head when he wrote "Maybe people are feeling betrayed because she's not fitting into their pigeonholed view Rico A. hit the nail on the head when he wrote "Maybe people are feeling betrayed because she's not fitting into their pigeonholed view of her as ass-kicker?" Liz has been both hugely helped and hurt by prevailing trends and her relation to the zeitgeist of two eras. With her debut in 1993-4, she perfectly fit into the low-fi aesthetic and riot-grrl revaluation of women in rock at the time, not to mention exciting hormone-soaked fanboy critics of the day with the frank sexuality of some of her lyrics. Plus it wasn't just her debut album that generated the buzz, it was also the tapes she made in her bedroom on a 4-track mixer, eagerly traded among music cognoscenti, that put her indie cred rating into the stratosphere. That's the Liz the critics loved and have never forgiven her for not remaining -- barefoot and in the bedroom churning out clever 4-track gems for all time. But Liz is ambitious and her 2nd album, Whipsmart, was an all-out well-produced (by indie standards of the day) rocker -- and the critics hated it! They dumped all over what in my opinion is her best album, and she's laboured under their derision ever since. Cut forward to 2003 and the now 36-year-old Liz, as charmingly slutty, and ambitious, as ever, makes a stab at more popular success with the self-titled album this review is about. But the poppy sheen doesn't make it any less distinctively a Liz Phair album, and the song writing and lyrics are as sharp as ever, along with her very effective guitar technique and unique, one-of-a-kind voice that fans like me love. Now the fanboy critics, ten years older and more cynical, slot Liz into a different stereotype of a sexually forward woman -- the cougar/milf, no longer the object of erotic veneration that the sexy indie rocker chick was, but instead a target of derision and scorn, and still after ten years not forgiven for leaving the 4-track in the bedroom behind. "Liz Phair" (this album) is full of gems -- "My Bionic Eyes", "Red Light Fever", and the poignant "Little Digger" are among the finest tunes of Liz's whole career, as is "H.W.C." (Hot White Cum), a song most critics mistook for a failed dirty joke, failing to see that while it is witty it's not lewd but rather a heart-felt, bright, sunny, sex-positive love song, waxing poetic about a physical property of her lover other than the usual ruby lips or sparkling eyes -- and it's a great tune besides. In fact, over all a great album from one of the finest, and least understood, female rock musicians of all time. Expand
  5. MichaelW
    Jun 18, 2003
    7
    I agreee with everything that has been said about this album. It's very slick and not nearly as good as her previous offerings, but I I agreee with everything that has been said about this album. It's very slick and not nearly as good as her previous offerings, but I still love and and, though this is is my least favorite album of her, it's still a lot better than a lot of other music out there. Expand
  6. ShannonB
    Jun 30, 2003
    4
    As Jackie S. said, there is nothing wrong with pop music, but there is something wrong with bad pop music. Unfortunately, most of this is As Jackie S. said, there is nothing wrong with pop music, but there is something wrong with bad pop music. Unfortunately, most of this is pretty bad. It's like Avril Lavigne without the hooks, killer production, and this may be hard to believe, the depth. Tries to hard to be "edgy" and "adult." I mean, a song like "HWC"? What's the point? Silly. 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 51 User Reviews