Liz Phair

From: Chicago, Illinois

Active: 1993-present

I first heard of her: in the press, actually. Every magazine and alt weekly I read to find out about new music thought Exile in Guyville was the most bestest thing evar. I listened to it on the Tower Records listening stations and thought it sounded dreadful. When videos from the Whip-Smart album showed up on MTV I had to concede she'd improved, and I liked Whitechocolatespaceegg enough to buy it. What little I've heard of hers since then hasn't appealed to me, though.

Sound: back in my day, at least, it was pretty standard alt-rock, with one little twist: Liz Phair can't sing! Or if she can, she's awfully shy about it. Her range is tiny and she seems to have trouble carrying a tune. When her songs are good it's because the composition is good, not the execution.

Further listening: Here's another track from Whitechocolatespaceegg, which is a pretty solid effort the whole way through.

"Polyester Bride" (1998)