Exile in Guyville is the debut studio album by American singer-songwriter Liz Phair, released on June 22, 1993, by Matador Records. It was recorded at Idful Music Corporation in Chicago between 1991 and 1993 and produced by Phair and Brad Wood. The album received critical acclaim for its ability to combine indie rock and lo-fi music and the concept behind it; in 2020, it was ranked No. 56 by Rolling Stone in its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. It was certified gold in 1998 and as of July 2010 it had sold 491,000 copies.Wikipedia
Has sexual politics ever been better? More tuneful? More truthful? Smarter? When I'm listening to this, I'm inclined to say no. Especially now I've just learnt Phair wrote the whole thing as a track-by-track response to Exile On Main Street. It's also the birthplace of today's voguish Bedroom Rock sound (Japanese Breakfast, Soccer Mommy, Beabadoobee, to name a few from the last year). But somewhere along the line things got sadder, less melodic, less funny. What you get from Phair that you don't get from the new crop are the seemingly infitine personality facets. Here, Liz is a real cunt in Spring and your blowjob queen. She's tested by the male-dominated music industry to see how far she'll bend. She wants to be fuck you till your dick turns blue, jumps when you circle the cherry, and wants to be mesmerizing too. She also gets away with what the girls call murder, is done with the fuck and run game she's been playing since she was 12, and wants a boyfriend. But then again, the boys are just heroes "in a long line of heroes, looking for something attractive to save". And if you don't believe one person can be that complex, there are 18 songs on this thing. And if you don't believe one person can be that complex and prolfic AND consistent, marvel at how she's still able to pull a hook like Stratford-On-Guy out the bag at track 17. Just marvel.
If Exile in Guyville is shockingly assured and fully formed for a debut album, there are a number of reasons why. Most prominent of these is that many of the songs were initially essayed on Liz Phair's homemade cassette Girlysound, which means that the songs are essentially the cream of the crop from an exceptionally talented songwriter. Second, there's its structure, infamously patterned after the Stones' Exile on Main St., but not the song-by-song response Phair promoted it as. (Just try to match the albums up: is the "blow-job queen" fantasy of "Flower" really the answer to the painful elegy "Let It Loose"?) Then, most notably, there's Phair and producer Brad Wood's deft studio skills, bringing a variety of textures and moods to a basic, lo-fi production. There is as much hard rock as there are eerie solo piano pieces, and there's everything in between from unadulterated power pop, winking art rock, folk songs, and classic indie rock. Then, there are Phair's songs themselves. At the time, her gleefully profane, clever lyrics received endless attention (there's nothing that rock critics love more than a girl who plays into their geek fantasies, even -- or maybe especially -- if she's mocking them), but years later, what still astounds is the depth of the writing, how her music matches her clear-eyed, vivid words, whether it's on the self-loathing "Fuck and Run," the evocative mood piece "Stratford-on-Guy," or the swaggering breakup anthem "6'1"," or how she nails the dissolution of a long-term relationship on "The Divorce Song." Each of these 18 songs maintains this high level of quality, showcasing a singer/songwriter of immense imagination, musically and lyrically. If she never equaled this record, well, few could.
Bold and brash. I loved this. Had never heard of if, but I can hear her in all the young solo artists that I listen to all the time now
It was next to impossible to find new music in 1993, especially albums from a relatively new and obscure female artist who wanted to be your blow job queen and fuck you until your dick turns blue. The internet wasn't yet a thing, MTV and FM radio wouldn't touch such material, and we had to rely on reviews from Rolling Stone and Spin Magazine to even learn something like this existed. Even then, I don't recall any local record store carrying this album on cassette or compact disc, and I doubt Columbia House offered this album either. So it wasn't until the Wild West Era of Napster that I finally heard Exile In Guyville, and it's become one of my go-to albums ever since then. Sometimes I think this is the best debut album ever. It's certainly one of the top 5. Every song is written by Phair as a track by track response to the Stones' classic "Exile On Main Street". If the algorithm had any sense of humor, they'd recommend both albums consecutively to everyone. If listening on Spotify, make sure you listen to the remastered version with all 18 tracks available, as the link here goes to the old version where Spotify doesn't include some of the songs for whatever reason. Liz Phair would achieve more popular success after this landmark album, but never get back to this level of openness and rawness. A trailblazer like Liz Phair knew there's no way to top this masterpiece. If I could only keep 10 albums from this list, this would absolutely be one of them. Pour one out for the amazing Liz Phair. She'll fuck you and your minions, too.
What a journey I went on with this album. I listened to it in two parts. The first portion on Friday, where my experience of it was as interesting enough background music, that didn’t wrassle for my attention too strongly with whatever else I was doing. Today, though, I picked up where I left off - with Canary - and something had shifted. Maybe it was that England lost the biggest game they’d played in my lifetime in the most painful way possible, but I heard what I think Ms Phair was selling. Her songs suddenly struck me from two angles - 1.) the stark, surprising lyrics: chock full of a certain kind of sexual ennui, oscillating occasionally into revelry and back again. 2.) The songs themselves, roughly hewn, simple-sounding but they have the same punch as anything by that other purveyor of rough-hewn, simple-sounding guitar-led songs from the 90s, Kurt Cobain; and honestly, I realised she is the first artist I think to ever draw comparison with Kurt in my mind as a peer and equal rather than an imitator. And I realise that possibly sounds like damning with faint praise, but it’s not intended as such. I’m so pleased I didn’t just settle on basing my review on my experience of the first half of the album. Well worth it.
Feels like a usual indie rock album, it's a bit too long but it's enjoyable. Lots of tracks aren't that unique though, some of them feel too generic
Not terrible, but not my favorite either. I like Liz's voice.
Turns out Liz Phair isn't a great singer. I assume this album was chosen because of it's writing...but it's hard to pay attention to the lyrics when the singing is so bad.
idk ! not my thing i didnt like the sound sorry women everywhere
I don't think she can sing, but she does so anyway. The lyrics are not good either. I don't ever want to hear it again.
I only made it through half... It's like a teenage girl singing her inner monologue.
One of the worst things I've ever endured.
This record exhausted me. I remember the buzz after its release, hearing about how "revolutionary" it was. Was it? Is it? After all this time and a re-listen the remaster actually does give it a little more sheen (I'm very much not a low-fi fan)... the music is sometimes just "ok" (actually "Shatter" could or should be a great song) but sweet fancy moses there's no getting by her voice which is absolutely unmanageable and the up-front and dry mix (lo-fi!) does absolutely zero favours to. Was this album cool because of her "bold language?" Maybe. Ordinarily I'm all for it but not in and of itself - for the most part it's used in such a stupid high school back row of the class teenage-giggly way and as a result most of these songs just are a sloppy pile of absolutely nothing. If you get off on "pushing boundaries" in the sense that being edgy with sex and language in music is super important - or maybe all that's important - then go for it here. If you're of the theory that even if your lyrics have the effort of repeating a kindergarten nursery rhyme but you still need to put some effort and thought and creativity into actually freaking making art then you'll probably feel as I do after enduring this. This revolution should not have been televised and instead should have been exiled to the "do not release" pile. 2/10 1 star.
Great and groundbreaking
Really enjoyed the album
This was really good!
this album has so much personality to it. fantastic storytelling. the lyrical style reminds me of mitski at times but its even better. i think it could've used a little more musical variety, a lot of the melodies got monotonous, although overall the energy/pacing was good. 9/10
What a killer rock album. Excellent songwriting throughout and killer tunes to match. Every song is POWERFUL.
I really should’ve listened to this long ago. It’s very much my shit. Great songwriting, shaggy, yet just polished enough production. Definitely earns the hype.
Pretty bad ass!
These are good songs and I think they are holding up well. Love the idea of this album being a song by song reply to Exile on Main Street. The stripped down sound is perfect. Didn't connect until this listen that "Shatter" is often used as background music for This American Life.
For someone who cares so much about musicianship, it might seem odd that I like Exile in Guyville so much. Liz Phair isn't much of a guitarist, and has a rough voice, to be generous. But the songwriting! The way Phair structures the songs on Exile is clever, interesting, and wholly original. The skeletal arrangements actually work in the album's favor, accentuating the songwriting and lyrics, which are uniformly wonderful. And for all of Phair's technical shortcomings as a singer, her interpretive skills set these songs on fire--she's completely naked emotionally. And, if that weren't enough, there's tremendous range in these songs, from rockers to drones and everything in between. Damned near perfect for what it is.
Really fantastic. Great attitude, equal parts funny and strong. I've grown to be a big fan of this kind of music of late with artists like Soccer Mommy and Mitski, so to hear something from '93 this good has made me very happy.
I LOVE HER!!! Liz Phair, your music helped define my 2021! 4.5
Good album, enjoyed it a lot! Very well done, will need to revisit to listen more
Really really liked this, great album with some catchy songs and some pretty slow ones, nice variety and a very good listen!
lmao how did she go from this to “you’re being a penis… colada that is!” A
This album is badass and awesome. Required listening for young women.
I remember feeling empowered by this album in high school and that feeling remains. The low-fi guitar, mixed with funny yet true lyrics does what feminism does best…make sure that everyone knows that anything a guy can do, a girl can do as good, if not better. Though this album is situated in the 90’s, it is timeless and forward thinking.
Some cracking tunes!
Seminal album of my young adulthood. I discovered Liz Phair in college and immediately related to everything she was singing about. The ideas of empowered female sexuality, owning your desires, and deciding for yourself what your narrative will be in relationships resonated deeply with me. I love her minimalist production too. The songs are so well-written, so sharply observant, biting and acerbic with a cynicism unheard of at her age. But damn if there aren’t sad pathetic little nuggets of optimism throughout as well. You root for this girl, you believe in this girl, you are this girl. Her dry monotone vocals shouldn’t work, but they do. They’re somehow sultry and raw all at once. Phenomenal album from a unique talent and a powerful voice we needed at this time. Thank you Liz for helping me feel empowered about my burgeoning sexuality and for helping me feel seen.
Rounded up to 5. Liz Phair is a mix of singer-songwriter and grunge rock. You'll be able to relate to this if you've ever been a mess, had a bad relationship or dealt with shitty men.
I forgot how brilliant this album is at times. Sometimes it flags, but mostly it rocks and still feels relevant.
Ég verð bara að játa að mér fannst þetta algjörlega stórkostleg plata! MIkið var gaman að finna eitthvað sem maður hefur aldrei vitað af!
For some reason I just loved the album. Even tho it was mostly pop music, I found it really different from the rest of the genre.
I love this album
Very intense, raw energy to it.
All I had heard was "Why Can't I?" but I knew she was a staple of the 90s when it came to rocker females. And rock she did.
это альбом с не самым сильным женским голосом, не самым лучшим продакшеном, но он узнаваем. этот красивый и милый инди-поп с примесью кантри не собирался стать великим, но критики решили на него молиться. альбом обладает несколькими мощными хитами вроде «Never Said» и «Fuck and Run», которые для целого поколения стали родными. Смотря на такое восхваление критиков возникает важный вопрос, а слушали ли критики вторую часть альбома, ведь если убрать четыре песни из промежутка «Girls! Girls! Girls!» до «Flower», то изменится лишь хронометраж. Поэтому 4, недотянуто до идеала.
Don’t know about the exile on Main Street connection, but great nonetheless
Great album, edgy Kate Bush that sounds like it's had a lot of influence on heaps of alt rock punk stuff around today especially in Aus. Dance of the Seven Veils, Mesmerising, Girls!.., Divorce Song all massive tunes.
Not my thing. Although I can appreciate what this is, and some songs like F and Run kinda struck an interesting nerve. Almost like Cody Chestnutt did in a way.
I find this very ovverated critically... it’s a solid record for sure. I don’t see this worthy of all the perfect reviews
Lots of good songs.
Swagger and confidence.
this was rly good
No sé cómo descubrí este disco en su momento, pero me gustó mucho. Además el título, la portada, las canciones tienen un hilo conductor con un mensaje bastante claro e interesante. Canciones como Help Me Mary, Mesmerizing, Fuck And Run o Johnny Sunshine. Un gran disco que merece la pena escuchar.
I can see how this is on this list. It's not my favorite style of music but I did enjoy some of the lyrics.
Creo que nunca había escuchado a Liz Phair y muy agradable. Se puede distinguir ahora ese sonido noventero y a ratos me sonaba como un mashup de The Cranberries con un poco de PJ, algo de Fiona, hasta me cuestioné si existe una categoría llamada "rock de mujeres" así como hay "escritura de mujeres" (según). Varios moods, todo a su punto, ya fuera algo más ligero o divertidón. Canciones fav: "6'1''", "Never Said", "Explain It To Me" y "Fuck and Run". 8.5/10
A special record, to dive in and explore on subsequent listenings. Very 90s. Very good.
Pues cómo que sí fue underwhelming. No sé que esperaba exactamente pero igual... Me gustó Help Me Mary suena super super años 90. Mood: rockero, peo no lo suficiente
7/10. Maybe deserved an 8 as it was definitely quite good, but it did get a bit samey listening to the whole thing, and it's not really my style.
Really good. Not something you listened to song by song or very often.
never heard of Liz Phair, but this was fun. Like.... an indie Alanis Morrisette
Felt real sad but sounded great. 8
Never listened to Liz Phair. Love her style. very Good album.
Good storyteller. She could be strong and vulnerable simultaneously eg. Fuck and Run and Shatter. Was also intrigued by the edginess/unique production of Flower.
Great guitar riffs and a “fuck you” attitude throughout the whole album
I was surprised I liked it alot
Brilliant confessional singer-songwriting, this consistently engaging album is witty, caustic and unabashed.
she hits an emotional chord like few others do with her lyrics. My natural cynicism is now compounded by emotions.
Sounds like Courtney Barnett, or more she sounds like her.
I expected some pre-packaged 2000’s trash pop. Instead I got a moody, thoughtful singer-songwriter gem that I would never have found without this website. It took forever to figure this out, she sounds like Johnny Cash Does Indie Grunge. Shatter is amazing. The guitar sounds like The Durutti Column (i.e. haunting, eerie, heartfelt). Divorce song was an enthralling listen, as was Stratford-On-Guy. I did not expect to give this album more than 3 stars, but it is a very strong 4!
o woman you
Great lyrics. Edgy. Enjoyable sound. "Flower" is a great song.
Good one! I dig her voice and the music - somehow both relaxing and uncomfortable at the same time. Will listen again.
4.0 + This album wins because it’s honest. Liz Phair can’t sing or really play guitar. All she can be is herself and that’s what I hear on this record.
I got into this a year or so after it came out and just loved it a lot, and still give it the occasional listen. Decades after the fact I still think it's very good. The signing is not terribly strong, though in that it's a class in playing to your strengths. And despite being very much a young person's product the lyrics still hold up. Certainly still a landmark of a certain facet of the 90s indie sound.
I like Liz Phair. Makes me feel nostalgic. Wasn't a huge fan back in the day but had many friends who were.
This was pretty cool but not much stuck out for me
Brave to make this, brave to publish it, and wonderfully strange that such raw unpolished girl power was wildly successful. It’s rather inconsistent, but the good tracks are just phenomenal. 6’1”, Dance of the 7 Veils, Explain it to Me, Divorce Song, Flower, and Gunshy for me.
Liked it, feels empowering
I actually really liked a fair amount of this album. Think I would like it more if it was shorter. Solid 3.5.
I kept listening to half of this, then getting sidetracked and coming back to it a week later. Happily, it kept growing on me each time. It's got raw punk-leaning rock moments, bluesy americana vibes, and vulnerable emotional stuff, all mixed into an indie rock package (but back before indie sucked). Name your favourite 1990s alt-rock album and this is probably better! I like her voice and songwriting quite a lot. It's fun and self-aware but genuine. 4.5*
I like this one a lot actually. I can influence she's had on the sort of bedroom rock vibe. She definitely has had influence on like Soccer mommy, Japanese breakfast, phoebe bridgers, and maybe Kacey Musgraves in a weird off way. I think it's good. And it's response to exile on main street which I got recomennded just the other day, that's super neat I gotta say. I liked this more though lol.
My first impression listening to track 1 is that the sound is quirky & fresh (even 30 years later) and she's clever, in a good way, and a bit angry maybe. The only song I was familiar with was The Divorce Song which had blunt, personal lyrics that really capture a relationship gone sour. For me, she could be a bit less explicit. I’m sure I've ranted on this before (maybe for rap albums?) but I think that great lyricists don’t need obscenity to catch your attention. I mean, Fuck & Run is a good song but does it get so many more plays because it's that much better than others or is it the title? She uses sex to sell herself, as this and a few of her other LP covers show, but it's with tongue planted in cheek.
Grungey 90s songwriter, low key pretty good
Enjoyed this very much, had never heard of her before. Great lyrics and a groovy sound will defo check her work out.
Musically, this is interesting, being a sassy mixture of up-tempo guitar based alternative pop/rock and mellow(ish) acoustic folk-rock. Her muttering vocal style sounds better on the mellower acoustic numbers like the short 'Glory', bluesy 'Soap Star Joe', folky 'Explain It To Me', experimental/avant-garde on 'Canary' and personal on ''Shatter'. To begin with I wasn't sure, at times her offhand delivery makes her sound a little off key (like the line "I wanna boyfriend" on 'Fuck and Run') but it's quite an arty & personal alternative styled album. My emotions ranged from finding her annoying early on to feeling a little sorry for her towards the end. Probably a few too many songs though.
I liked this, but didn't love it. I feel like it sorta grew on me over two listens, however, and think I'd like it more on future listens. It reminds me Breeders or something to that effect. 3.75/5. rounding up to 4/5
Finger pointin' relationship songs, played in a stripped back indie rock way. Just great. Best Tracks: 6'1; Fuck and Run; Divorce Song
Solid 4 for lyricism
Rock indie. Interesante
Quirky 90s indie rock. Overall not too bad, but the instrumentation is a little sparse; I'd have liked to have heard bigger production and more distortion. a pretty good album though
Liz is an under-rated gem who is too often forgotten.
Extremely surprised by this album. Probably my favourite one so far. Liz Phair gave heavy Fiona Apple vibes and I love it. Production is smooth and wonderful, vocals are gorgeous, melodies are beautiful. Favourite songs are 6'1", Glory, Never Said, Fuck and Run (fav), Girls! Girls! Girls!, Divorce Song (fav), Shatter (fav), and Gunshy (fav). Really want to check out more of her stuff.
Creía que Exile In Guyville iban a ser hevilorros y resulta que son rock indieorros, y me gustan.
Apparently this is a long sex album… The album opens with 6’1” it’s a good enough song other than the fact that it’s a warning shot for all the sex in the rest of the album it’s not very unique though. Help me Mary is good much of the same thing as the first sonic but works well as song 2. Glory is a really short acoustic track it’s okay just useless. Dance with the seven veils is a good acoustic song, it’s odd that the only thing I was surprised by was her saying the c-word though. Never said has a bit of a repetitive chorus but it’s still done well and it’s the only single from the whole album, which makes sense as the others are probably way too dirty. Soap star joe is solid, great lyrics (for this album). Explain it to me is okay but with all of the other pretty good acoustic songs on the album this is just meh. Canary sounds special and very tender not a song that I would personally listen too without an album but still good ( like songbird by fleetwood mac). Mesmerising is a solid banger, I love the build up at the start and the vocal distortion that occurs. Fuck and run is also decent ( chorus is a little disturbing though). The guitar is really cool in Girls! Girls! Girls! it’s lyrics are a bit meh. Divorce song is a banger lyrics are great, guitars good too! Shatter is a banger it takes its time but it’s all worth it, probably the best song so far once the intro is gone! Flower is wired, not a favourite tough it’s actually quite an unsatisfying listen. Johnny sunshine is decent it starts off as like a trucker song all loud and aggressive then goes full on tender. Great! Gunshy is a bit too obvious lyrically but the guitar in the chorus is cool. Stratford- on- guy is solid I guess in the grand scheme of the album it’s forgettable but still nice. Finally I’am at the last song strange loop it’s really solid that instrumental is just the way I wanted the album to end! After listening I decided to make a shortened track list of the album ( which would’ve given it a 5): 6’1” Never said Soap star joe Girls! Girls! Girls! Dance with the seven veils Canary Mesmerising Fuck and run Divorce song Johnny sunshine Shatter Strange loop
Stunned to hear this came out in 1993, and I don't think I've ever heard it - it's way ahead of it's time, I'd guessed it was from the mid 2000s, though in retrospect that's probably from the resurgence of this sound then. Anyway, this is full of light and shade, heartfelt lyrics, and an assured voice.
Very good indded - even on first listen.
i thought i wasn’t going to like this anymore but even though it’s completely satanic she’s a real talent
I'm trying to listen to most albums through a retrospective lens at the same time as I try to imagine how the music would have sounded when it was released. The matter part is really hard, but I think it's pretty safe to say that not many women at the time were doing what Liz Phair did on her debut album. Sonically it's not always my cup of tea, but the lyrics and the vision make up for it. I'm not surprised if many modern acts of female oriented indie pop and rock are influenced by Phair.
A very raw album about a girl and her insecurities. There is no specific song that stands out but the album as a whole is very good and meaningful.
I love this, beautiful esthetic, the voice the songwriting the production, chefs kiss. I would just say overall the album isn’t incredibly cohesive and some songs are very clearly better than others
Extremely powerful debut which draws you in with its indie hooks and lo-fi production. The whole thing could easily have been 5-6 tracks shorter and benefitted from the reduced runtime, but the length also allows Phair to showcase a wide variety of song structures. The album takes a bit getting used to, but by the time the stripped down 'Dance of the Seven Veils' comes on, I start to get it. Highlight of the album for me: the groovy 'Mesmerizing' leading into the monster of a track; 'Fuck and Run'. What an extremely catchy and gritty track. This song has been living rent free in my mind for several years now since the first time I heard it.
ragged, punky, eerie, fresh. this is a punk rock album from the 90s that still feels like a fresh take on the grungy feminist anthem. its simple guitar chords, fuzzy machinations and flat, rumbling vocals make for a compelling listen. it still has immediacy. it still belongs. glad its on the list. i likey very good like. get exiled peoples.
this kinda blend with songs of its time, like i can listen to it but i can easily forget abt it
Just ok. No clue how this got ranked as #56 of all time by RS
Not great not terrible, extra star for the nip
Common alt-rock with interesting vocal
Very good, feel like I only scratched the surface though. Will need to listen again but on the day it's a 3 from me
I like the feel of it, just lacking a little more quality.
Ok. Nice voice. Glad I listened to it but probably wont go looking for more
Pretty good. Grungy. I can hear the influence she had on so many female musicians.
Was hoping I wouldn't get a rock album for once. It's clearly more lyrics focused, they're very straightforward and to the point. This is definitely one of those albums written to get some shit off the artist's chest, no filter and no bullshit. The instrumentation is a little weak and generic though, which is something I look for first before I even listen to the lyrics. That being said I can see myself being in the mood for this kind of aesthetic.
pues la primer mitad un poco lenta pero se medio compone después, se nota que es bien alternativo el pedo que traía esta vieja
That’s a nip on the album cover
i resonated with her idgaf attitude, some songs were bland
Thank you 90s!!! I remember reading once that the one thing the Red Hot Chili Peppers collectively agreed on is their crush for Liz phair
Very good album. Slick guitar sound and nice vocals. 7/10
3.5 | Ni idea sobre ella ni sobre el disco. Que album tan curioso, tremendamente explícito y obsceno pero con una instrumentación típica de ese rock alternativo 90ero que era medio inofensivo, a veces tan minimalista que hasta la batería elimina. Se siente como si fuera una cantante de folk superagresivo. Justamente esa canción más explícita de todas siento que también es la más interesante en su arreglo (Flower, por supuesto). A pesar de todo el disco es bastante más que solo tratar de espantar con letras sexuales, en general si hay buena composición y escritura; me parece algo triste que busqué un poco más sobre esta mujer y... TODO lo demás que escuche se me hizo bastante X sin inspiración y mientras más adelante en los años peor se ha escuchado. De verdad parece que tenía un album muy brillante dentro de sí y nada más. Se me hace que fácilmente ha de ser esos discos que ha de haber inspirado a muchas mujeres y que se interpreta como muy feminista, aunque no parece que era la intención de Phair. Un lugar en la lista para un trabajo femenino, con carácter, de rock alternativo bastante bien hecho, quizá no es mi máximo pero su lugar lo tiene muy merecido. ¿Cómo podría alguien odiar algo con la letra "Obnoxious, funny, true, and mean, I want to be your blowjob queen"?
Reminds me a lot of Lisa Germano, but less weird (and thus, in my book, less good) but yeah, acceptable early nineties alt rock singer songwriteriness. Fave track - "Soap Star Joe", had some amusing lyrics that caught my attention...
Bonne chanteuse, j’ai bien aime et ca a passe vite comme ecout en background. 3.85
I think 30ish minutes of Liz Phair would have been a solid album. Generally, the production style and music is compelling, but it just didn’t hold up for almost a full hour without getting pretty boring and samey. 6
Not really for me!
Egzotycznie brzmiące nazwy zarówno albumiku jak i artysty i maly cyc na okladze nic mi nie mowil, okazalo sie, ze to albumik indyjskiego rocka, ale jest to undergrundowa produkcja, wiec low fi pelna geba, nie tylko to slychac przez to w jaki sposob jest zmasterowany, jak wykonane overduby, ale glownie przez liryczny kontent, bo jest on do bolu szczery, a jak to w muzyce niepopularnej glonym topikiem bedzie seks lekarstwa i turlanie kamienia, ale jest to pisane, ze gdybym mial zgadywac z jakiego roku albumik, to strzelalbym na okolice 2k10 i bum internetowych grajkow spiewakowych, ktore zalalo swiat za sprawa rozpowszechnienia sie serwisow strimingowych, a nie wczesne lata 90, bo o ile jeszcze poczatek plyty do never said, czyli najbardziej popowego kawalka jaki mozna tu uslyszec, to dalej slychac coraz to coraz to odwazniejsze eksperymenty, nie tylko jesli chodzi o kompozycje instrumentalna, ktora w niektoych miejsach jest wrecz minimalistyczna i sa nawet kawalki jedynie z klawiszami kreconymi synthem, czy gitarkowaniem Pani Liz, lirycznie dzwie sie, ze tak jednolity tematycznie jest albumik, bo wszystko mozna sprowadzic do relacji miedzy ludzkich, dobitnie pokazuje to track flower, ktory byl dla mnie kwintesencja tego co slyszalem w poprzednich kawalkach, wokal i klimat kojarzy mi sie z NANA, moze znalazlem pierwowzor nany, na plejke wrzuce gunshy oraz soap star joe
(3.5) I feel like I wouldn't like Liz Phair as much if I didn't enjoy seeing her so much in concert (she opened for The Smashing Pumpkins and I barely knew her music beyond "Why Cant I?"), but she does have a cool stage presence and is fun to watch live. A lot of her songs are pretty catchy too, and short and sweet; I never feel like her songs go on for too long. I saw her tagged as "slacker rock" on RYM and I think that's probably a good way to describe her music?
Conflicted... Really liked this musically (very basic and effective guitar) and was fully enjoying until I paid attention to the lyrics a little. Not terrible, but not great (ie. Divorce song?). After looking up the lyrics though, there are definitely some pearls along the way and the context of the album certainly makes it worthy of this list. Awesome to hear some more females in this little adventure and this was a pretty brave and outspoken record for the time so big points for that. Pretty bland voice, but really cool melodies. The drums left a lot to be desired though - very hollow if heard at all and Explain to Me was proper out of time - sounded like a poorly joined loop! Tough one to rate.
Simple indie rock, doesn't wow me but it's still pretty good.
Het eerste nummer had me niet mee, en in het hele verloop van het album werd daar geen verandering ingebracht. Het gitaarwerk is wel oké
Just, but just, an OK background music piece. But too close to boredom.
Decent. Some great songs, but I think too long and one note.
Phair shows her roots with quick-witted lyrics and shorter tunes. What is missing is any remarkable single or thing that sticks with you.
Got better by the end, first tracks felt a bit unpolished and underwhelming. But I like what this album represented for the 90s
A bit raw. Liz is ok in small doses. Not my favorite but not bad.
Like an 80s Joni Mitchell. Glad to have listened although probably wouldn’t relisten.
Gritty and hard-to-listen-to lyrics delivered with emotion and catchy tunes. Has you happily singing along to inappropriate and embarrassing songs. Gets better with every listen.
not my style
3/5 Not really catchy, sounds like the radio
3,5 star but not 4. Okay-ish but totally forgettable music
Pretty intense lyrically, but some good songs
Fun album, would listen to it again.
yeah, this was fine. i didn't much care for her music back then, and i really don't now, although i absolutely love her unwillingness (at least on this album, i've never met her or anything) to take absolutely no shit whatsoever.
liked how raw the lyrics were
3/5 interesting but nope.
the female Elliot Smith but not as good
Good album…should have been a couple of songs shorter but good variety in songs
Loose, sparse. Seems fitting that I listened to this in the Seattle area (even though Liz was based in Chicago): very riot grrl, lo-fi, grungy. Certain points I was into, certain points not so much. Eighteen songs is a bit long. Favorite tracks: "Fuck and Run", "Divorce Song", "Soap Star Joe", "Shatter"
Liz Phair walked so that Garbage could run. Suffers from the problem with first albums where Liz has recorded nearly every song she's ever written so there's a real mess of genres and songs that probably could of been cut with no great loss. Overall I'm enjoying listening to this
Kind of caught me off-guard how honest/explicit some of the lyrics were in comparison to the voice. Not bad, but nothing blew me away.
Ahead of her time. Really helped pioneer the feminist rock movement. Liz Phair was always unapologetically crass and sexual in her lyrics when it was still a double standard where men could be crude but women had to be proper in their songs. My only knock is Musically, it takes a few interesting turns but kind of sticks in the same generic realm. Fave songs: “Fuck and Run” “Help Me Mary” Fave Tracks:
Love the righteous anger, hate the singing voice. Best track: The Divorce Song
-Damn they actually kinda go ham in "Strange Loop" -I like the fast-paced lyrics on 'Flower" and "Johnny Sunshine" -This is stronger than the average singer songwriter album
Enjoyed this one. Cool songs and lyrics. Very 90s dropped D. Angsty songs fav was the divorce song though none of the others really stood out. 3.5
The best from this album IMO: - Glory - Never Said - Mesmerizing - Gunshy - Stratford-On-Guy Not bad. Very interesting chords at times. Some songs remind me of Blur. 3.3/5
Say, this sounds like it influenced a lot of 90s indie music.
My 90s crush on flat singers is still running strong. Juliana Hatfield all the way. Sorry Liz. I'm a Lemonhead.
I knew a few songs. Enjoyable album.
i can understand why its held in the esteem it is. not my bag though
Kind of a boring, overlong album, innit?
I can hear this albums influence on many records in the indie world since it was released. Points for that. I have to say that I think listening to the album is a mixed bag though. There are some solid songs but I think they are outnumbered by songs that do little for me by about a 2 to 1 ratio.Yet another album that really could've edited down a bit in my opinion. 2 stars for the music 1 for the lasting influence
Nice band feel to this, despite being a solo effort. Proper guitar, drums and bass set up. Powers through, right from the opening chords of the first track. It loses some of the bite when the sound is stripped down to just guitar and vocals. Still, a mighty impressive debut.
Not usually a fan of singer-songwriter material. Always feel that the songs will be nice when they’re finished. And Phair’s voice sounds a bit strained in places - even from the start. But I do quite admire the no-holds-barred lyrics and subject matter. Not my usual style of listening choice but warmed to it more as it progressed, especially when other instruments got involved, such as the extra guitar on Mesmerizing or the synth loops and doubled vocals on Flower. 2.5 stars
Liz Phair - Exile In Guyville Canary She lost herself on the way back home, trying to find any solution of where's north, to go opposite. Rough vocals, grunge era and purple static, that's the recipe for an ordinary album in the middle of the 90s. Few tracks connect stories that Liz told about Johnny and her affairs, during the same time the tracklist go up and down as the instruments and her vocals are rusting and tearing apart all the way. Creating heroes, losing their minds and fame, while who takes the advice and glory is the one and only Liz walking alone in Guyville. C
I can totally hear the indie rock and alternative influence this has had on music. Could get better with more listens.
There are a number of decent songs on this. The first 5 come to mind. After that it's hit and miss. It would be higher rated if they had culled some of the filler rather than making a 56 min album. The indie stuff had a role in the music scene but some of it is boring.
possibly would have gobbled this up as a teenager, got my alternate sources of feminist indie locked in these days
Narrow and a bit one-note-y as many cult classics are. When this came out, I remember thinking “what’s all the fuss?” though the endorsement of all the cool chicks made an impression. Yes, it’s substantive. And certainly the cleverness, raw emotion, pluck and attitude of the songs’ “characters” are all appealing. It also overreaches and/or seems to be trying too hard at times. “Fuck and Run” is a minor classic and “Never Said” and “Canary” are easy to like. Super resonant of the ‘90s, a borderline relic, actually; would sharper or more expansive production have made this more timeless? She’s more than a one-hit wonder, sure, but it’s only one record so maybe a “one-off” wonder? 3.5 is the score, rounding down.
The music style is very different from the album cover lol The start of Canary is a star.
The album is straight forward, raw in parts and laser focused on telling the story of a woman afloat in a setting that is as ill-fitting as hand-me-down clothes. The emotional baseline of the album isn't explosive or outraged like some of Liz's female-lead contemporaries (i.e. Alanis), but much more dry-witted and ambivalent akin to Courtney Barnett (who I really hope is on this list!) For exemplary paired down tracks, I'd point to 'Girls! Girls! Girls!' and 'Shatter'. For songs that include the band, I enjoyed 'Never Said' and 'Divorce Song'. Floating somewhere in between the two vibes are great tracks like 'Soap Star Joe'.
Not my favorite Liz Phair album, but still a good one.
I can see why this album was included, Liz Phair was considered a breakout female star on the 90s alternative rock scene, and for supporting Smashing Pumpkins. For an angsty, sexual empowered, vocal-led singer/songwriter - it's alright. Feels like it paved the way for the likes of Alanis Morissette, Tracey Bonham, et al. Could have been half the length and still had the same impact.
This is pretty cool. It def has that 90s alternative vibe, but Liz has quite a bit more going on than her poppier peers of the time. I’m surprised that this reminds me more of Sleater-Kinney than Alanis, but I really dig Phair’s atmospheric songwriting. It’s definitely LONG, but she covers so much ground it all feels essential - even if not on a single listen. 3.5
Pretty cool lo-fi rock album. Not really my type of thing though.
grows on you
Ágætis væb á þessari plötu en hún er svolítið löng og lögin renna dálítið saman því útsetningarnar eru ansi einfaldar, þótt gítarpartarnir séu það kannski ekki. Renndi henni tvisvar, kannski að ég yrði hrifnari í þriðja sinnið.
While there's definitely some radio filler on here, most of the LP shines with mesmerizing songwriting and decent instrumentals. I'm not big on lyrics so much as form, but Phair's vocals make it impossible to ignore the narrative structures that clearly drive each track.
This is pretty good, but it's hard to escape a feeling of losing the thread a bit in the last third or so. Phair claimed to have had the idea to "respond" to the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street at some point in making this, and it kind of feels like some songs are there mainly to make up the numbers. I do suspect this is one I'll get more from on relistens.
This might be the most 90s alternative thing I've ever heard. A bit too long, didn't go anywhere and she can't really sing, BUT there is a bit of nipple on the cover. 3/5.
Nice one, enjoyable
Indie rock. Ni fu ni fa.
decent guitary music, but nothing special
Uus tuttavuus, toimivaa kamaa hyvältä aikakaudelta
Tykkään soundista, sopivan simppeliä kuitenkin pienellä koukulla. Taitaa olla leidin itse säveltämää ja pitkälle soittamaa kamaa joka on aina hieno asia soittavalta artistilta.
It was alright. For being quite simple instrumentally it still feels ‘loud’ with Liz’s angst and passion on each song. 5/10
Loved the vibe of this one but it did drag on a bit (I think I just don’t do well with longer albums on a first listen) Fav track: dance of the seven veils
It was good but not great.
Not bad. Definitely not my vibe but not bad.
There's a lot to like, the lyrics are great, and must have been ten times as refreshing 30 years ago. It zips along without any songs outstaying their welcome, and the minimal instrumentation keeps it from becoming overblown. Phair's voice is less enjoyable at times, disaffected 90s snark feels indulgent these days, and had it been the ten best tracks, this would have been an absolute classic, rather than just a Good Thing. That said, I feel like this is the lay up that allowed Alanis to dunk on em a few years later!
Well I thought it was alright.