Liz Phair (album)

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Liz Phair
Liz Phair - Liz Phair.jpg
Studio album by Liz Phair
Released June 24, 2003
Genre Teen pop
Length 50:14
Label Capitol
CDP 7243 5 22084 0 1
Liz Phair chronology

(1998)String Module Error: Match not found1998
Liz Phair
Singles from Liz Phair
  1. "Why Can't I?"
    Released: September 8, 2003
  2. "Extraordinary"
    Released: 2004

Liz Phair is the fourth studio 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]


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".[citation needed]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[3]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[5]
The Guardian1/5 stars[6]
PopMatters1/10 stars[8][4]
Robert ChristgauA[9]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[10]
Slant Magazine3.5/5 stars[11]
Stylus MagazineF[12]

On Metacritic, a review aggregator site, the album holds a score of 40/100, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[14] Many decried Phair for "selling out", and she became a "piñata for critics".[15] 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."[16] Matt LeMay of Pitchfork rated the album a 0.0 out of 10, stating, "it's sad that an artist as groundbreaking as Phair would be reduced to cheap publicity stunts and hyper-commercialized teen-pop."[7] In his review for Entertainment Weekly, Chris Willman awarded the album an "A-" and described it as "an honestly fun summer disc," noting "Little Digger" and "Rock Me" as highlights.[5] Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani also described the album positively, calling Phair "frank and funny" singling out "It's Sweet," "My Bionic Eyes," and "Rock Me" as noteworthy tracks.[11] Robert Christgau awarded the album with an "A," praising "Extraordinary," "Favorite," "Little Digger," "Rock Me," and "H.W.C.", and noting that the album included "no bad songs."[9]

Usage in popular media[edit]

"Extraordinary" and "Take a Look" were used in the TV series 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, being featured on the soundtracks of the films How to Deal, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, and 13 Going on 30 as well. "Extraordinary" was also featured in the film Raising Helen.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Liz Phair, unless otherwise noted.

1."Extraordinary"Phair, Christy, Edwards, Spock3:25
2."Red Light Fever"Phair, Gary Clark4:52
3."Why Can't I?"Phair, Christy, Edwards, Spock3:28
4."It's Sweet" 2:55
5."Rock Me"Phair, Christy, Edwards, Spock3:21
6."Take a Look" 3:29
7."Little Digger" 3:36
8."Firewalker" 4:29
9."Favorite"Phair, Christy, Edwards, Spock3:24
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



  • 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


Weekly charts[edit]

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


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[17] Gold 500,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Liz Phair - Liz Phair". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  2. ^ "Ask Billboard: Kylie 'Fever'". Billboard. 2010-07-16. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  3. ^ Liz Phair at AllMusic
  4. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for Liz Phair". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  5. ^ a b 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. ^ a b "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. ^ a b Sal Cinquemani (2003-06-18). "Liz Phair: Liz Phair | Music Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  12. ^ Sebastian Stirling (2003-09-01). "Liz Phair - Liz Phair - Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  13. ^ Klosterman, Chuck (2003-06-15). "Liz Phair, 'Liz Phair' (Capitol) | SPIN | Albums | Critical Mass". SPIN. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  14. ^ "Reviews for Liz Phair by Liz Phair". MetaCritic. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  15. ^ David Carr (August 2, 2005). "Arts and Music". The New York Times. 
  16. ^ Meghan O'Rourke (June 22, 2003). "Arts and Music". The New York Times. 
  17. ^ "American album certifications – Liz Phair – Liz Phair". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]