Saturday, October 08, 2005

What happened to Liz Phair? Or, for that matter, Sheryl Crow?
Phair's 1993 Exile In Guyville album made her a critical favourite with its edgy, profane, clever lyrics and lo-fi rock production. A former girlfriend used to play it so much around our apartment that it almost became a soundtrack of our lives.
I just listened to Exile In Guyville's 1994 follow-up, Whip-Smart, for the first time in a long time, and enjoyed it. Supernova was simultaneously a minor radio hit and a very good pop-rock song. The chorus of the title track borrowed from Malcolm McLaren's Double Dutch to make it another irresistible favourite, while Chopsticks harkened back to the sound and inspiration of her first album. Most of the other songs on the disc hold up pretty well, too.
whitechocolatespaceegg followed in 1998, but didn't do much for me. Phair's self-titled album from two years ago had a couple of decent pop tunes, but too much teen-aimed sheen for those of us who remembered her from five years earlier.
I haven't hear Phair's just-released Somebody's Miracle album, but have read that it's so insipid that it makes Sheryl Crow's new Wildflower album seem exciting. I have no problems at all listening to Crow's '90s material, enjoyed a private acoustic show that she played in a church behind Toronto's Eaton's Centre a number of years back, and hummed happily along to Soak Up The Sun from 2002's largely forgettable C'mon, C'mon, but Wildflower excited me as much as looking at the dull beige computer monitor that I'm now working on. But at least I keep returning to my monitor; Wildflower found its way into my discard pile after one listen.
Both women still look good, but that's the only attraction that they hold for me these days.
I played Phranc's pholky Positively Phranc album after Whip-Smart, and I still like it. I missed Phranc's set when she opened for The Knitters at Lee's Palace this summer, but I briefly saw her in the dressing room after her set and said hello. Now Phranc is a woman that I could never be physically attracted to, but I'm sure that my favourite Jewish-American lesbian folk singer isn't losing any sleep over that fact.

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