Friday, March 31, 2006

Liz Phair - Somebody's Miracle

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Poor old Liz. She got sick of not selling very many records so hooked up with The Matrix for 2003's eponymous effort...and promptly didn't sell many records whilst at the very same time alienating her core fanbase to an alarming degree.

I for one enjoyed Liz Phair, not least because if we are to be subjected to Lavigne-esqe rock on every corner it might as well be from someone who knows what they are doing and can supply the lyrical edge missing from so much of the banal "by the numbers" rock we get force-fed these days.

The problem is that Somebody's Miracle is more of the same, except without the, dare I say it, novelty value that her previous effort had.

That's not to say that I didn't (or don't) enjoy it. Indeed in a funny kind of way it's exactly the kind of record I would have preferred from Sheryl Crow instead of the somewhat lamentable Wildflower. Tracks like Leap Of Innoncence and Got My Own Thing are perfectly catchy mainstream pop songs, however at times Phair's limitations are all too apparent. Her voice simply isn't suited to the over-produced sound evident here and, worse, the album even makes Phair sound boring, which long time fans know couldn't be further from the truth.

Any number of packaged female rock teens could have been given these songs and the result would have been more than respectable. But when an artist like Liz Phair gives us this the only feeling is one of disappointment. Somebody's Miracle is not a bad record per se, but it doesn't come close to what you would expect from an artist of her quality.

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