Saturday, August 27, 2005

BUT ONCE I REALLY LISTENED THE NOISE JUST FELL AWAY: Is it summer? Yes. Then we're due for the annual How Dare Liz Phair (Or Any Female In Any Creative Field) Dare Try To Make Her Work More Accessible And Commercial rant, this time from the Sun-Times' Jim DeRogatis, who, otherwise, we're generally a fan of:
To compare Phair's first three albums to her most recent discs is to see a schizophrenic split unprecedented in rock history since Jefferson Airplane became Jefferson Starship. She defends this as part of her inevitable growth as an artist -- a specious and nonsensical claim, given that the melodies and lyrics of her earlier work are infinitely more sophisticated, complex and mature than the sunny platitudes and hummable inanities of late. . . .

My God, what happened to this woman's self-esteem, let alone her brains? What possibly could have inspired one of the sharpest songwriters of her generation to turn to writing such utterly banal crap?

What bothers me so much about DeRo's piece is how personal his sense of hurt is, that he feels directly betrayed by Phair's decision to not just write songs for him but reach a broader audience. As though Jim was entitled to "authentic" Liz Phair music, regardless of what the Actual Liz Phair wanted to do.

Y'know, it's quite possible that Liz Phair was never talented enough to record a second Guyville. It's also possible that she just didn't want to. But for DeRo to show such deference to every odd Billy Corgan project (which the public has rejected) yet deny Phair the same freedom to experiment is . . . unphair.

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