June 4, 2003

The San Francisco Guardian slams the new Liz Phair album:

"While undeniably catchy, Liz Phair's bid for Lavigne's Top 40 fan base is as pathetic as it is ill-fated: Does anyone really think teens want to hear a woman nearly their mom's age sing, 'I wanna play Xbox on your floor ... I want you to rock me all night'? Madonna's piece-of-shit new album is 10 times better than Phair's piece-of-shit new album, and even she can't get anyone younger than 25 to care. Who, then, is gonna fund Phair's new pop-star lifestyle? Certainly not her Guyville-era fans, who understandably have turned on Phair in droves.
"Still, it's hard to simply laugh at the punch line that Phair has become. As illustrated by looking too closely at Courtney Love's cut 'n' paste face, what's initially mockable about an artist's descent into schmaltz quickly becomes sad and unnerving. Poking fun at Phair's almost campy absurdity seems easy and inevitable, but the joke is infinitely less entertaining when it sets in that she's sacrificed her art for the possibility of fame and fortune.

"No one's saying Phair isn't allowed to grow, evolve, change, whatever. After all, it must have been tough bearing the burden of everyone's indie dreams, and there are probably rational, real-life reasons – mortgages, kids, People profiles – prompting her to turn her gaze toward the top of the pops. Artists such as Polly Jean Harvey, Sleater-Kinney, and Aimee Mann have proved that moving on doesn't have to mean total industry assimilation, so it's disheartening that Phair has willingly chosen the road more traveled."


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