Power Hour: Hear the scope of Liz Phair’s underrated career in 58 minutes
Power Hour distills musicians’ discographies down to one tight 60-minute set, picking the big hits and deeper cuts from across a career, looking both to define who the artists are and to serve as a killer compilation.
Liz Phair’s triumph and curse is that she made a classic album. Her first record, 1993’s Exile In Guyville, was a galvanizing response album to The Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street that continues to stand perfectly on its own today. It’s smart, explicit, spare, and unsparing—an indie rock classic. Then she had the temerity to keep making music.
Phair certainly maintained a fanbase as she put out 1994’s Whip-Smart and 1998’s Whitechocolatespaceegg, but neither had the same impact (what could?). Here’s a crazy secret, though: Both of these albums are at least as good as Exile In Guyville, maybe better. That hot take isn’t …