Saturday, July 12, 2008

Not such an Exile anymore

It's been fifteen years since Liz Phair released Exile In Guyville. Since then, Liz has grown, her music has changed, but this album remains, and will always remain, a masterpiece. Most people will peg this as the album that Fuck and Run came from. A few more naughty souls will remember the ultra-dirty Flower as the choice pick. They're great songs, for sure, but the album goes a whole heck of a lot deeper than that.

Listeners might pigeon hole Exile in Guyville as the prototypical angry feminist with a gutter mouth album. While there surely are sparks of anger there, it's only a small slice of the pie. The album has always been celebrated for its rawness, its lack of studio gloss, its realness. For me, the album has always held its charm in that last point: the realness. It was Liz's first big label production, early in her life, when she was still piecing together who she was and where she fit in. That really comes across in the album. Sure she sings "I'll fuck you till your dick is blue," but she also yearns for real love, a solid relationship, someone to complete.
I don't know if I could fly a plane
Well enough to tail spin out your name
Or high enough to lose control completely
Honey, I'm thinking maybe
You know just maybe, maybe
These come from Shatter, which you can check out below. Yea, there are actually some love songs on here, too, which for me makes it a complete package. There's not just the hate, there's not just the dirty sex, there's a snap-shot of all the jumbled emotions that make up life.

Well, fifteen years later, the album has been re-released, this time remastered with three additional previously unreleased tracks from the Guyville sessions and an additional DVD disc with an hour an a half of video about the making of the album and the Chicago scene at the time. I've included the remastered version of Shatter below so you can compare what they're done on this new edition. If you're a Phair fan, there's a lot of interesting footage and interviews here that serve as liner notes, although incredibly more comprehensive. Rumors are that she's got a new album in the works, which should be interesting now that she's away from Capitol Records and on ATO. In the meantime, enjoy the following.

Liz Phair - Shatter : Exile In Guyville (original)

Liz Phair - Shatter (remastered) : Exile In Guyville (remastered)

Liz Phair - Ant In Alaska (Unreleased B-Side)
: Exile In Guyville (remastered)

Visit her website, her label ATO Records, and become her friend on MySpace.

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