Liz Phair - Soberish
Liz Phair isn’t one to rush things – Soberish is her seventh album in a career of over 30 years. She’s always suffered from having her debut, Exile In Guyville declared one of the 500 greatest albums of all time by the likes of Rolling Stone – that’s a LOT of pressure. That plus record company shenanigans that affect so many artists have taken their toll.
Like her debut though, on Soberish she remains blunt, but more relaxed, mature. That said, she is refreshingly honest about sex, her mistakes, and her insecurities – it’s candid and confessional.
Spanish Doors details a breakup and the confusion that follows - “what about the kids? / what about the house? / what about our friends? / what do I do now?”, but the end has to come – “The ghost I see in the mirror doesn’t smile anymore”.
Meanwhile, the title track rings true - “I tried to be sober / but the bar is so inviting”, while Hey Lou showcases her sense of humour as she considers a day in the life of Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson. It’s great fun, though with a clear dark side still shining through. Its chorus will bury itself in your head, so be warned…
Similarly Good Side is catchy as hell, as he ends a relationship, trying to only leave good memories - "There’s so many ways to fuck up a life,” she sighs, “I’ve tried to be original”.
Ba Ba Ba is fun, spiky indie, while Dosage and The Game are buoyant pop. While Hey Kitty even has the studio conversation in the background as she shouts at her son who is helping her record the album – it gives the album an honest, open feel, like we really are seeing into her life.
It’s a solid comeback given its 11 years since her last album. Definitely worth a spin.