Liz Phair, who some of you may remember set the indie music scene in the 1990’s aflame with her stunning debut album Exile in Guyville and follow-up albums Whip Smart and Whitechocolatespacegg, has come out of nowhere to release a brand new album titled Funstyle on her official website LizPhair.com. Now, before you Phair fans get all excited you have to know that the album sounds to me more like a fun, F.U. to the record label she appears to be pissed off at rather than an serious new album of material. I got to see Liz on tour back in 2008 as she promoted the re-release of her debut album (which was a fantastic tour, btw) and shortly after she finished that tour she revealed that she had signed to Dave Matthews’s ATO Records label for her next album. Something must’ve went amiss from that time until now because this new “album” is a silly, angry, kind of ridiculous collection of songs:
This Funstyle album costs $5.99 to download at her site and features 11 tracks … I would say only 4 of them are actual serious songs (You Should Know Me, Miss September, Oh Bangladesh and And He Slayed Her). The rest are trippy, weird, sonic experimental things that I believe are meant to be taken tongue in cheek. For the first time in her musical career, Liz Phair raps … and not very well. If you are intrigued, you can listen to the song Bollywood (in which she busts a rhyme) after the jump …
Now I am a HUGE Liz Phair fan, I have been ever since Exile … all thru all the criticism she received after the release of her self-titled album Liz Phair. That album was such a huge departure from her indie days that she was skewered by her critics for selling out to make a pop record. Some of the ire she playfully spits on this album seems directed to those critics as well as the shadowy record executive bosses (possibly at Capitol Records, her former label) who she keeps talking/referring to thruout the album. As a frivolous, F.U. album it’s kinda fun and I can totally dig it (I’m trying to enjoy it as an “experimental album”). My hope is that a real album will be released soon … possibly on ATO Records. I would hate for this album to be the last release of her musical career. It’s a weird collection of silliness … fine for a joke or cathartic purposes but not the way to end a recording career. I’m not sure if there are any Liz Phair fans out there but if so, you gotta tell me what you think of this new album.