Phair is fair and easily forgettable

By Fen Hsaio

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The much anticipated release of pre Liz Phair "girly sound" tracks is a slight let down. I had heard a couple of tracks off Juvenilia at a friend's house, and being a huge Liz Phair fan, I was surprised I had forgotten to buy it. However, after a second, closer listen, I realized that Phair's new EP is easily forgettable.

After releasing her first full-length album, Exile in Guyville, Phair became regarded by critics as a sort of indie rock queen. Phair's candid lyrics on sex and relationships as well as her raw vocabulary gained her much attention. However, with her second album, Whip Smart, which was even more eagerly accepted by the media, she already seemed to have lost a little of her personal raw edge. Being that it was still a good album, I might've been experiencing a backlash to all the media hype Phair was getting.

Still, I was excited about the new EP containing "girly sound" songs, the name under which Phair had self-recorded pre-Exile material. I expected these songs to be even more self-revealing and spontaneous, and although they were fine songs, I was disappointed.

Actually, I hated Phair's lame cover (with Material Issue) of the 80's hit, "Turning Japanese." This song wasn't good before and it's not good now. Plus, my friend Gerard told me, whether it's true or not, that the song is about masturbation, and you can guess the reason for the title.

I absolutely could not get the repeated chorus to "California", the first girly sound track on the EP out of my head, which wasn't necessarily bad because it's a very entertaining song.

Slightly disappointing, the track with the best lyrics, "Batmobile," was a little lacking musically. It's too bad that Phair's strong and relatable lyrics weren't complimented by an equally good tune.

This album isn't bad, it's just not the best stuff Phair has produced. If you're a fan of Phair's, I would recommend getting it, just because of the girly sound songs that were previously hard to find. But maybe you should listen to it first before going to the store.

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