Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
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Phair's Most Well-Rounded Outing Yet
Rudy Palma | NJ | 10/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With her new album ,"Somebody's Miracle," singer/songwriter Liz Phair has assembled her most well-rounded release yet. One of the most celebrated indie sweethearts of the 90's, her 2003 self-titled mainstream makeover paralyzed a great faction of her fanbase, who could not accept Phair's broadening her horizons. However, what made her so endearing and unique in the 90's and later brought her into Top 40 territory meld together exceptionally well this time around.
Lead single "Everything to Me," was a wise choice to lead the collection, and although it has not made the splash that "Why Can't I?" did two years ago, it has proven she can craft radio friendly fare perfectly without the aid of hitmaking machine the Matrix, thank you very much. Still, it is the least interesting track on the collection. "Leap Of Innocence" and "Closer to You," for instance, will delight longtime fans, as they are sonically reminiscent of 1998's underrated "Whitechocolatespaceegg." Most importantly, her lyrical bite and delightful sense of humor are as potent as ever, but with sharper wisdom and insight than she had to offer in the 90's, which the former track displays.
"Everything about us had an innocence/But everything around us was changing/And my mistake was being already married/I want to make a leap of innocence to you."
The pop songs are still present, however, but they don't plead for radio play as much as they did on the self-titled record. "Stars and Planets" is the finest such example, with Phair proclaiming "we all shine, shine shine," much to the chagrin of listeners who abhor pop music clichés. However, the lyrics delve much deeper than that, revealing a triumphant ode to individuality in a world of monotony and mass consumerism. Also, "Count On My Love" and "Lost Tonight" are as romantic as they are undeniably infectious.
The philosophic title track finds Phair in a new state of mind. Almost an act of atonement, it is indeed eye-popping that the angsty siren behind "Exile In Guyville" could even muster the words "every frog has a prince just waiting inside of him." She does, however, make a return to her roots in following that with "Got My Own Thing," a budding fan favorite where she cheekily chants "Oh boy, I'd love to help/Give you enough rope to hang yourself/And watch the silly things you do."
Furthermore, "Lazy Dreamer" is a deliciously-produced protest of a young man who slacks off so much that he ultimately becomes a societal outcast, while "Table For One" is a melodious condemnation of those who enabled a now-recovered alcoholic. Also, "Wind and the Mountain" is an ingenious track where Phair makes splendid use of metaphor and ultimately conquers her ordeal by asking for God's intervention, and "Everything (Between Us)," a tale of unconditional love, has the sharpest hook on the album.
"Let your body move real slow/Tell your body we left yesterday/Let your body hold me close/Let your body move you/We have everything we need here/We have everything between us."
Ultimately, "Somebody's Miracle" serves as a perfect mirror for Phair's astounding talent, and it deserves much more spotlight than it has received.
Rather middle of the road.
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 10/04/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I seem to be in the minority of people who enjoyed both Liz Phair's early work and her more recent self-titled effort. Yeah, "Liz Phair" was a pop album, but it was an awfully good one, and I'm the type who grows bored with an artist who stands still. And certainly that album made sense in the context of "whitechocolatespaceegg". Its followup, "Somebody's Miracle", continues not the pop sheen of the self-titled album, but rather takes its starting point from the adult alternative sounds of "whitechocolatespaceegg" and "Liz Phair". The result is pretty mixed-- it's not a bad album by any stretch, it just doesn't go anywhere, and there's really not a whole lot on here that grabs your attention.
The best material on the album manages to fuse the lo-fi indie rock songs of her youth with clever arrangements, feeling both detailed and stripped down-- moving from the chugging, lo-fi "Wind and the Mountain" to bouncy pop (a la "Polyester Bride") of "Somebody's Miracle" and "Got My Own Thing" and moody ruminations on "Table For One". But for everything that's worth hearing there's a bunch of middling pop songs that sound like a thin Aimee Mann impression ("Lazy Dreamer") and occasionally it can't get out of the way of its own cliches ("Stars and Planets").
Again, it's not a bad album, but it's certainly not great either, and it's unlikely to please anyone-- old fans will deplore that it continues the sellout, new fans will wonder where the gloss went. Speaking personally, much as I'd hoped for better, it's about what I expected, some of it's worth hearing, but I've never found Phair to excel at following up any of her great efforts."
Polly Scott | New York, NY | 10/20/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Do to the unexpectedly poor sales of this album, Capitol is rereleasing it on December 20th, with four extra track, and a new lower price. So you might want to wait to pick up a copy."