Sunday, February 27, 2011

328 Exile in Guyville. The woman your mother warned you about

Album: Exile in Guyville Artist: Liz Phair Year: 1993 Genre: Rock Tracks
  1. 6'1"
  2. Help Me Mary
  3. Glory
  4. Dance of the Seven Veils
  5. Never Said
  6. Soap Star Joe
  7. Explain It to Me
  8. Canary
  9. Mesmerizing
  10. Fuck and Run
  11. Girls! Girls! Girls!
  12. Divorce Song
  13. Shatter
  14. Flower
  15. Johnny Sunshine
  16. Gunshy
  17. Stratford-On-Guy
  18. Strange Loop

Liz Phair is one of those artists forever living in the shadow of their debut recording. Exile in Guyville is held up as her greatest album and nothing she’s done ever comes close. She must hate the comparisons which is ironic since her debut was deliberately created to invite comparisons to another album.

Phair publicised Exile in Guyville as a track by track response. to the Rolling Stones' Exile on Mainstreet. Apparently the 18 songs on Guyville are lyrically and musically a response to the 18 tracks that make up the Rolling Stone’s finest hour. As a claim it’s slightly baffling since there’s not much that seems to really compare. The cynics amongst you could claim Phair just needed a title and decided to have fun with the music press and who could blame her? There are few things more earnest than a rock journalist and it must be great fun to toy with them from time to time.

Taken as a work in it’s own right Guyville is a strange listen and not one that I’d recommend introducing to any elderly relatives who have worn out their Dean Martin records. The lyrics to Flower contain lines like the following: “I want to fuck you like a dog,” “I’ll fuck you and your minions too”, “Your dicks a perfect suck me size,” “I want to be your blowjob queen,” “I want your fresh young Jimmy, ramming slamming jamming in me” and “I’ll fuck you till your dick is blue”. We’re used to hearing similar (but gender reversed) feelings expressed by heavy metal and rap singers all the time. What makes it more shocking is the way Phair sings in such a sweet voice. She doesn’t put on a lascivious leer or knowing tone, it’s a sweet kind of tone with a definite lilt.

Like the rest of the album the instrumentation on Flower is sparse and barren. Her voice is the main instrument on the album and the hook that gets people involved. Normally I’d say if you liked her voice you’ll like this album but you also need to get past the lyrical content if you’re the sort who is put off by declarations of sexual intent so vigorous they can actually transform the colour of one member’s sexual organs.

Highlight: 6'1" (it's not often someone sings a song about how tall I am)
Lowlight: Flower

Influenced by: Feminine Sexuality and Rock and Roll
Influenced: Girl Indy rock.
Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote:
"Of course, don't ever, ever - EVER! - criticize something a woman has done, especially if she's one of the ordained favorites of insular media critics otherwise they will smite you with the inevitable "You have a short ****!" And remember, criticism of women is ALWAYS sexist".

-What the heck does that mean? If you criticise a woman people say you have a small willy? You make no sense.

So are you an Exile in Guyville or the Mayor of the whole damn town. Let me know below.


  1. What's with the font colour? It's rather hard to read against the background.

    1. I have no idea. I've tried to fix it several times but blogger goes crazy whenever I do.