Liz Phair- And He Slayed Her
Liz Phair’s new album, released yesterday, is called Funstyle and that’s an apt title, since for the first time since the Girlysound demos, she sounds like she’s actually having a lot of fun playing music. There’s lots of goofy beats, random voices, Liz rapping, details of all her record label drama, and that’s just in the first three songs! She branches out into several different styles on this record, with not every experiment working, but it’s certainly better and more interesting than the bland Somebody’s Miracle (Everyone rags on the self-titled album, but at least there are some great pop songs on there. Somebody’s Miracle has such awful production that it managed to ruin one of the old Girlysound songs and suck out all the good from any of the new compositions.)
And He Slayed Her is a song that first debuted a couple years back at the Exile In Guyville anniversary shows. It’s nice to see that it didn’t get fucked up in the studio, and the production gives Liz some nice cover on the higher vocals that aren’t exactly her specialty. The lyrics are comedic at times (the chorus obviously) but there’s real weight and bitterness at other times, which is understandable since it’s about her former bosses at Capitol Records who Phair had a…contentious… relationship with.
People on the Internet just need to have way more respect for Liz Phair is all I’m saying. Imagine Liz reading your tweet, people. Would you say that to Liz? Your respect for Liz should be inexhaustible. Put yourself in her shoes, really, would you have done things differently? Okay, could you have?
I guess this is directed at me, but I don’t really see what was so disrespectful about my post. There’s a big difference between criticism and disrespect. All I talk about is her work, which she puts out there to the public. Disrespect would’ve been personal attacks, comments on her personal life/appearance, basically things that don’t relate to what she releases and wants people to buy and discuss. No artist should be immune to criticism, no matter how many amazing albums they’ve made. I love Liz, Exile is one of my top 10 albums, I have all the other albums and b-sides purchased legally, listen to her catalog frequently, have seen her live, etc. but the greatness of Exile doesn’t make Somebody’s Miracle automatically great. I didn’t have a problem with her “selling out” (Ugh to that phrase) as long as she continued to make good music under the pop gloss, which she did at points on the self-titled record and on the comeandgetit EP (which if you don’t have go get it right now!), but the songwriting on Somebody’s Miracle was mostly subpar and the production (which to be fair was not Liz’s responsibility, so those criticisms aren’t even really criticisms of her) destroyed the songs that were good, making for a shitty album.
In terms of “Would you say that to Liz?”, sure. In comparison to most of what’s out there, my criticisms are pretty mild and she’s a big girl. Obviously it wouldn’t be the first words out of my mouth (which would probably be some babbling, a thank you, and fanboy nonsense about the first few albums) but if we were to sit down and have a discussion about her entire career over coffee or something, I wouldn’t act like her shit doesn’t stink. Would I have done things differently? Well, since none of us actually know all that went down, it’s hard to say, but I probably would’ve done similar things. I also wouldn’t’ve expected people to not call me out on those decisions if what I produced after wasn’t up to the usual lofty standards of my previous work.
ETA: And to prove that I really will say the things I write on the internet to the people I’m talking about, good and bad, here’s my comments on And The Heart Says Whatever from when I read it last month: http://bit.ly/b6gB1U
Anyways, the new album is a lot of fun and well worth downloading, for anyone still on the fence.