Sun, 28 Sep 2003

Artist : Liz Phair Album : Liz Phair (EMI Music)

The parental advisory label on the cover was not earned by liberal use of profanity.

When Liz Phair emerged in the early 1990s with her breakthrough debut album Exile in Guyville, she didn't just open doors for the likes of Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morissette. She also brought out the feminist persona of a strong, thinking woman who also enjoys the carnal pleasures in life.

Phair has not changed on this record which, while more pop than indie rock, is no less lusty.

On her own sexual merry-go-round, she does the dirty with a stranger (Why Can't I?), gets it on in a disgusting apartment (It's Sweet), samples the pleasures of a younger guy who "don't even know who Liz Phair is" (Rock Me) and even rolls around in the hay with someone who is "like my favorite underwear" (Favorite).

Lusty indeed, yet always intriguing. Phair's low and engaging voice matches the equally engaging guitar hooks, creating catchy sounds. Thanks for that must go to the new team of producers a.k.a. Avril Lavigne hitmakers: The Matrix, Michael Penn, Pete Yorn and R.

Not all of the songs are bawdy ballads. Check out Little Digger, a nice little number Phair dedicates to her son, who's apparently confused about who mom's new guy is. -- Hera Diani