Thursday, August 04, 2005

exile in terriblemusicville

la liz is releasing another album and scored an interview with the times (at this point, is it just out of pity or morbid fascination that people still talk about her albums?). FUCK - i hate moral dilemmas. do i buy it? not buy it? should i ignore her? should i keep waiting for her to get through this phase? should i just admit that it's over?

i can't decide if this is the best or worst thing i have ever heard:

"Conceived as another song-by-song response - this time to Stevie Wonder's 1976 album, 'Songs in the Key of Life' - it tacked away from that concept to become an album that gives solace to whoever shows up. There are singles, throwaways and full-on confessionals - enough to satisfy or embitter various parts of her fan base, depending."

i hope her song-in-response to stevie's "As" does not include lyrics ready-made for a very special everwood moment, or, somehow worse, a pandering and ridiculous ode to swallowing.


Sarah said...

Well, I liked her older albums, and I liked her latest as well. I mean, I've read a good interview on the release of that one where she basically said "Look, this is what I was feeling at the time, and how I wanted to express it." I think every musician deserves the chance to make different kinds of music. I mean, not that I'm equating these two, but Bob Dylan was crucified when he went electric, but now looking back, it was all good music, just somewhat different from what he'd done before.

scissors happy said...

that is a decent point, that artists should be allowed - and encouraged - to change direction, and not every fan will be satisfied. however, one would hope that the new direction would be a measurement of growth or truly experimental - david bowie has done all sorts of chameleon-like adjustments, some to better results than others (david bowie doing r&b a la "young americans" very good; david bowie doing metal-lite a la "tin machine" very bad). i love that radiohead took a very different turn at "kid a" - their first three albums perfected brit pop and only hinted at how thom yorke's terrified-of-the-possibilities persona, and then "kid a" came out and was a new sort of rock, one that didn't diminish how great their old stuff was while also being a true departure and new direction. what bums me out about liz phair is that she seemed to run out of really interesting things to say - her albums got increasingly boring, and her answer to having a revitalized career was to hire top-40 hit-makers, dumb down her lyrics, accept any and all commerical endorsements (when "liz phair" came out, i saw ads for boots, satellite radio, and stereos, all featuring her image and crap single), and then dismiss any criticism that she had blanded herself into lameness by saying "what's wrong with actually wanting to be successful?" there's nothing wrong with an artist wanting people to hear their music if it's the music and not the success itself that they are driven by. her image of the blowjob queen no longer seemed like a young woman who was going to be in charge of what she wanted to do and be, fuckyouverymuch, but of a woman who had been adored and then dismissed, and was willing to forgo all credible talent and identity in exchange for some vh1 time. what was once admirable became embarrassing. i bought "liz phair" and saw her tour for that album, and her entire vibe had changed; not in an experimental, atristically challenging way, but in a "i'll take off my top if i have to" sort of way. i'll probably buy the new album just out of habit and curiosity, but if the new single posted on her website is any indication, she can't decide if she wants to be sheryl crow or if she wants to be hilary duff's slutty older step-sister. and, frankly, neither of those options are worthy of someone who is capable of being so much more.