Liz Phair, Liz Phair


Anybody who first tuned into Liz Phair during her indie period 10 years ago, when she was signed to Matador and recorded the much-admired Exile in Guyville, will listen to this new major-label offering and assume that Phair must have fallen under the influence of an evil svengali armed with personality-warping drugs. Where she used to be smart and provocative, Phair has become crass and bloated, her lyrics crude and her image apparently a grotesque exercise in self-parody.

Once renowned for barbed commentaries on the "women in rock" theme, her new songs are more like audio pornography, splattered messily with her thoughts on shagging, lust and underwear. In case you hadn't noticed the terrifying decline in her songwriting, the sleeve depicts Phair semi-naked with a guitar between her legs, and in the booklet she pouts and poses like a superannuated Lolita. Not a pretty sight. Or sound.


Adam Sweeting

The GuardianTramp

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