Phair - Whitechocolatespacegg
to Make Shitloads of Money
Liz Phair is back
with a vengeance. This time, it is with her third full-length
album Whitechocolatespaceegg. It has been 4
years since her last release, Whip Smart (an album
which sold a half-million copies). In the time between
this album and the last, she has since gotten married, had
a kid, and matured in a few ways.
Liz's past albums
have focused on the epitome of GenX female music. Most
of it was about her love life, or lack thereof. She
liked to take the alternative rock boys and put them in their
place. Let them know she was boss. In part, because
of her, the female alternative music became what is today.
The two previous albums were Exile in Guyville and
Whip Smart, respectively. You might remember
some of her singles from Whip-Smart, such as "Supernova"
Her new album is
a little different. As I stated earlier, a lot has happened
between this and her last album. The songs on the new
disc focus more on the life she has lived recently.
The album is more mature than her earlier works, but not too
much that she has lost the Phair flair. "Perfect
World" is a song of Liz's desires in the world, a great
song to show she still has the kind of style to satisfy the
indie-rockers. "Johnny Feelgood" is the perfect
example of this. A song about a man with a kickass car,
a tough guy, a man who is in control - classic Liz Phair stuff
- great to get the bad boys all excited.
Songs such as
the first single "Polyester Bride" focus more on
her married or grown-up life. In this song she wonders "If
I should bother dating unfamous men" - to which a reply
is offered - "Do you want to be a Polyester Bride?
Do you want to go shopping for alligator skin cowboy boots
that just went on sale?" This is the lyrical style
we are familiar with as coming from Liz, but the meaning behind
it is something new. For the first time we have Liz
trying to figure out what kind of man she should marry
instead of date. The song also includes
a great poke (I hope it is meant as a joke) at pop music,
with a little guitar riff they toss in the end of the song
- if you listen to the song you will be able to pick it out.
Very Third Eye Blind.
There are other
changes on this album as well, all leading to making this
her best work thus far. "Baby got it Going"
has a funky country / bluegrass musical style - an interesting
twist in the album at a point where things are starting to
sound the same. Songs like "Uncle Alvarez"
and "Only Son" delve into different aspects of family
life, from the elders to the young children. Sadly,
"Headache" goes the way of most recent releases,
including the synthesizer. Luckily it is not overbearing,
and does not become a techno song, but bands really gotta
stop going that direction. Luckily, Liz's voice would
never work for a techno band, so it sounds like a funky little
alternative song. On the second last track, Liz breaks
out her classic sarcasm - "Shitloads of Money".
The whole song is about money. It is funny stuff - Liz
continues to be creative, without losing her comedic flair.
"It's nice to be liked, but it's better by far to get
paid". With a refrain of "We all need a shitload
of M-O-N-E-Y", how can you go wrong?
Liz has shown
she is still one of the premier female alternative artists
of the 90s. The others in her wake should just take
a seat, and let her go back to leading the way. The
only contender I can think of is Juliana Hatfield - who has
a new album coming out soon. We will have to wait and
see - maybe I will set their albums up head-to-head.
Don't hold your breath for Juliana though.
4.0 out of