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Albums Reviews

Liz Phair

Exile In Guyville: 15th Anniversary Reissue
Ato Records/Red
(Four stars)

Rustom Warden Sep 09, 2008
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Let’s get one thing straight before we begin – a melodic nightingale Liz Phair is not. But therein lays the beauty of this record. An emotional, hard-hitting album, it’s the indie rock version of ”˜Jagged Little Pill’ – and while people might accuse her of being an Alanis wannabe, this album was originally released in 1993, two years prior to Alanis’s debut. Even though Liz’s album probably didn’t sell half the records Alanis’ did, this rock chick response to the Stones’ ”˜Exile On Main Street’ still manages to touch, hurt and shock people today as she blatantly proclaims “I want to be your blowjob queen’’ on the deceptively titled ”˜Flower’ or as she proclaims on ”˜Dance of the Seven Veils’ ”“ “I’m a real cunt in spring/You can rent me by the hour.” Oh yes, PG-13 the album may have to be rated. But it’s not all about the nasty. The subject matter goes deeper, with her thoughts on break-ups on ”˜Divorce Song’ or the unusually titled ”˜Fuck And Run’ where she shows her yearning for companionship as she sings “I want all that stupid old shit/Like letters and sodas” or the insightful ”˜Explain It To Me,’ a song about a child pressured into accomplishing too much too fast. This reissue also contains three unreleased tracks from the pre Guyville demos collection Girly Sounds and a 90-minute documentary on the making of Exile. A nasty little piece of work many years before its time… a must have.

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