Liz Phair (album)

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Liz Phair
Studio album by Liz Phair
Released June 24, 2003
Genre Pop rock, alternative rock
Length 50:14
Label Capitol
CDP 7243 5 22084 0 1
Producer The Matrix
Michael Penn
Liz Phair
R. Walt Vincent
Liz Phair chronology
whitechocolate
spaceegg

(1998)
Liz Phair
(2003)
Comeandgetit
(2003)

Liz Phair is the fourth album by American singer-songwriter Liz Phair, released June 24, 2003 on Capitol Records. "Why Can't I?" and "Extraordinary" were released as singles. Phair began production on the album with Michael Penn. Liz Phair debuted at #27 on the Billboard 200.[1] As of July 2010, the album had sold 433,000 copies.[2]

Production[edit]

Initially, Phair worked on tracks for the album with songwriter Michael Penn as the producer, but the finished album received a lukewarm reception from Capitol. Having already exhausted the recording budget, label president Andy Slater offered Phair more money to record if she agreed to work on possible singles with the production team known as The Matrix. The Matrix was known primarily for producing glossy hits for female singers such as Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, and Hilary Duff. Phair ultimately collaborated with The Matrix on four songs: "Why Can't I?", "Extraordinary", "Favorite", and "Rock Me".

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (40/100)[3]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[4]
Entertainment Weekly A−[5]
The Guardian 1/5 stars[6]
Pitchfork Media (0/10)[7]
PopMatters 1/10 stars[8][3]
Robert Christgau A[9]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[10]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[11]
Spin (5/10)[12]
Stylus Magazine F[13]

Although the album introduced Phair to a mainstream audience for the first time, its success brought about a backlash from critics and disappointed fans of her earlier work. Many decried her for "selling out", and she became a "piñata for critics".[14] The New York Times' Meghan O'Rourke titled her review of the album "Liz Phair's Exile in Avril-ville", and complained that Phair "gushes like a teenager" and had "committed an embarrassing form of career suicide."[15] Pitchfork Media gave the album a 0.0, the lowest score on the website's rating scale. In his review, Pitchfork critic Matt LeMay stated "it's sad that an artist as groundbreaking as Phair would be reduced to cheap publicity stunts and hyper-commercialized teen-pop."[7]

Outtakes[edit]

There exist several circulating outtakes from the album. Some of them have never been commercially released, but some have leaked in bootlegs. The first 5 are from the "comeandgetit" EP. The outtakes are listed below:

  • "Jeremy Engle"
  • "Bouncer's Conversation"
  • "Fine Again"
  • "Hurricane Cindy" ("comeandgetit" version)
  • "Shallow Opportunitites"
  • "Why Can't I?" (Single Mix)
  • "Take a Look" (Original Mix)
  • "Rapids"
  • "Liar"
  • "Red Light Fever" (Alternate Version)
  • "Down"
  • "Bouncer's Conversation" (Alternate Version)
  • "Love/Hate" (Alternate Version)
  • "Good Love Never Dies" (Alternate Version)*
  • "Apple Tree" (From Julie Johnson)
  • "Faded" (From Julie Johnson)
  • "She's Gone" (From Julie Johnson)
  • "Love/Hate Transmission" (Original version of "Love/Hate"; not the alternate version)
  • "Insanity"
  • "Don't Apologize"

* The alternate version of "Good Love Never Dies" never leaked, but is still considered an outtake

Mass media[edit]

Singles "Extraordinary" and "Take a Look" were used in the Warner drama Charmed, on episodes "Oh, My Goddess" and "It's A Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World" respectively, while "Why Can't I" appeared in a Tru Calling episode, featuring on the soundtrack of films Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! and 13 Going on 30 as well.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Liz Phair, unless otherwise noted. 

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Extraordinary"   Phair, Christy, Edwards, Spock 3:25
2. "Red Light Fever"   Phair, Gary Clark 4:52
3. "Why Can't I?"   Phair, Christy, Edwards, Spock 3:28
4. "It's Sweet"     2:55
5. "Rock Me"   Phair, Christy, Edwards, Spock 3:21
6. "Take A Look"     3:29
7. "Little Digger"     3:36
8. "Firewalker"     4:29
9. "Favorite"   Phair, Christy, Edwards, Spock 3:24
10. "Love/Hate"     3:43
11. "H.W.C." (Not on the clean version of the album)   2:56
12. "My Bionic Eyes"     3:52
13. "Friend of Mine"     3:44
14. "Good Love Never Dies"     3:00

Personnel[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Producers: The Matrix, Michael Penn, R. Walt Vincent
  • Engineers: Doug Boehm, Ryan Freeland, The Matrix, Michael Penn, R. Walt Vincent, Howard Willing
  • Assistant engineer: Kevin Meeker
  • Mixing: Serban Ghenea, Tom Lord-Alge
  • Mastering: Ted Jensen, Eddy Schreyer
  • Assistant: Mike Glines, Andrew Nast
  • Arranger: The Matrix
  • Drum recordings: Krish Sharma
  • Design: Eric Roinestad
  • Art direction: Eric Roinestad
  • Photography: Phil Poynter

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (2003) Position
The Billboard 200 27
Top Internet Albums 27

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
2003 "Why Can't I?" Adult Top 40 7
2004 The Billboard Hot 100 32
Top 40 Adult Recurrents 1
Top 40 Mainstream 10
Top 40 Tracks 15
New Zealand Charts 37
"Extraordinary" Adult Top 40 14
Top 40 Mainstream 28

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Liz Phair - Liz Phair". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  2. ^ "Ask Billboard: Kylie 'Fever'". Billboard. 2010-07-16. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  3. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for Liz Phair". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  4. ^ Liz Phair (album) at AllMusic
  5. ^ Chris Willman (2003-06-27). "Liz Phair Review | Music Reviews and News". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  6. ^ Adam Sweeting (2003-10-10). "Liz Phair, Liz Phair | Music". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  7. ^ a b Matt LeMay (2003-06-24). "Liz Phair: Liz Phair | Album Reviews". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  8. ^ Begrand, Adrien (2003-06-22). "Liz Phair: self-titled < PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  9. ^ "CG: liz phair". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  10. ^ Barry Walters (2003-06-18). "Liz Phair | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  11. ^ Sal Cinquemani (2003-06-18). "Liz Phair: Liz Phair | Music Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  12. ^ Klosterman, Chuck (2003-06-15). "Liz Phair, 'Liz Phair' (Capitol) | SPIN | Albums | Critical Mass". SPIN. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  13. ^ Sebastian Stirling (2003-09-01). "Liz Phair - Liz Phair - Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  14. ^ David Carr (August 2, 2005). "Arts and Music". The New York Times. (login required)
  15. ^ Meghan O'Rourke (June 22, 2003). "Arts and Music". The New York Times. (login required)

External links[edit]