Liz Phair, Exile in Guyville, Chicago Indie Rock, Matador

#tbt Liz Phair / Exile in Guyville (1993)

By Randy Nieto
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The 90’s were a magical time in Chicago. There was so much hope in so many disenfranchised hearts. Nirvana showed that even the smallest garage rock band can make it all the way to the top, and on cue, indie bands began popping out of the woodwork like termites. Already ahead of that curve was Liz Phair. Pragmatic and more Chicago then not putting ketchup on your hot dog, Liz Phair set out to write the breakup album of the decade, and with the help of veteran producer and engineer Brad Wood and Casey Rice, she exceeded expectations. I should remind you that this is a “R” rated record, and Liz has no qualms singing about blowjobs and one night stands the same way one would casually talk about the weather. But the lyrics are clever, so clever in fact the album really becomes a milestone along the way for feminism in indie rock, pointing out the hypocrisy and chauvanism of the dating arena in the early 90’s. But aside from clever lyrics and sexual innuendo, the hooks on this record are unbelievable. Grooves, hooks, and vocal melodies that leave you wanting more and singing loudly in your car on the way home from work gives this album classic indie pop status, and somehow Liz manages to keep a pragmatic vibe that prevents the music and lyrics from moving into overly sentimental or cheesy territory. No amount of description can really do this album justice, so you really just need to listen to it, and listen to it right now. Check out 6’1″ below.

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