By Cam Fuller
The Star Phoenix (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), November 10, 2005
Is there room in pop-rock for someone who can’t write songs about nothing, who sings every word with measured precision, who joins often brutally truthful word with humour and insanely catchy melodies?
Of course there isn’t. But Liz Phair is doing fine in whatever category she might fit. The shades here run from acerbic to romantic. You laugh out loud at “Why I Lie,” a stubbornly unrepentant tune with a Rolling Stone vibe in which Phair traces her cruelty to “a special combination of predatory instinct and simile ill will.”
There’s more regret in “Table for One” which deals with the guilt of alcoholism: “It’s morning and I pour myself coffee. I drink it ’til the kitchen stops shaking.”
For sweetener, try the dreamily sad title track, Ms. Phair at her most wistful, looking at happy couples on the street and wondering if she’ll ever experience the same miracle. You want to give her a hug and tell her it’ll be OK. For bluesy Bonnie Raitt grooves, there’s “Got My Own Thing.” And for the retirement fund, there’s the first single, “Everything to Me,” sure to be on a slew of teen romance film soundtracks in the weeks and months to come.