Wednesday, July 07, 2010

My My

Song: My My
Artist: Liz Phair
Album: Funstyle

Liz Phair's adventures in he music industry are going to make an amazing book one day.  In the meantime, we have her new album "Funstyle," a self-released follow-up to her most unsuccessful, and even MORE critically bludgeoned last album "Somebody's Miracle."  I say in the meantime, because "Funstyle" is part a return to the very very old Liz (like pre-Guyville Girlie Tapes funny Liz) part "Comeandgetit EP" (the five-track EP that was a free download with her much maligned "pop" self-titled album, and part totally strange F.U. to the industry, the fans that turned on her, and the critics that have beaten her up no matter what she did.

As an album, "Funstyle" is her most free-wheeling and all over the place since her (excellent) sophomore album "Whip-smart."  It starts with electronic beats of "Smoke," which makes you think Liz has once again re-invented herself, and then turns into a half-sung, half-voice sampled stew that sort of puts you exactly where Liz is... burnt by the industry, and trying to start her new album.  "Bollywood" continues this with Liz rapping (yeah rapping) about Hollywood and her scoring TV shows.  It's way way weird, and leaves you questioning if the girl has lost her mind...

Then "You Should Know Me" gives us Liz of old, a downtempo acoustic guitar-based song that gets right under your skin lyrically.  The album continues very "Liz" for a couple tracks only to go all funk on "My My."  ???  It's a crazy trip that I am still trying to wrap my head around.  I've followed and gone with Liz on her journey across ALL of her albums, and I am a big fan of both her self-titled album and the last, "Somebody's Miracle."  It might be a fan-only release... but in many ways, her last was that.  It was a great album, and nobody seemed to want it.  I'm not surprised she went a little crazy.

The album is wrapped up with "U Hate It" which I think is actually pretty brilliant.  It sums up the whole silly indie-cred thing, people's reaction to music, and how an artist is ping-ponged around during it all.  On "Funstyle" she says more through experiment that straight-up songwriting.  I think it was needed, an album she wrote for her.  Let's hope it opens her up to more music... and not such a long break between albums.




You Should Know Me

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