Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Liz Phair's "Bollywood" Confuses Fans

To quote Dorothy Parker, "What the fresh hell is this?"

Over the weekend, Liz Phair posted a new song, "Bollywood," to her website and, well, calling the reviews mixed would be generous. Here's the basic info, via TwentyFourBit:

"Liz Phair just released her first new album in 5 years, Funstyle, via her official site. And thankfully, Phair is offering a taste of the insane first (rap) single, “Bollywood,” before you drop $5.99 for the 11-track LP. What appears to be a screenshot below is, in fact, the record’s M.I.A.-esque cover art, which should give you an idea as to the tongue-in-cheek nature of Phair’s latest career move. Frankly, I’m not exactly sure what is going on here, but a tsunami of snark will be hitting the blogosphere in due time."

Is it? Tongue-in-cheek, I mean? Lord, I hope. I've only half-heartedly followed Liz Phair's career since the release of Exile in Guyville, her critical, if not commercial, breakthrough (for reasons I've already discussed); so I shouldn't judge. But I will. I'm someone who, for pleasure, listens to atonal noise filled with extraneous clanks, beeps, and samples, and I still got through only thirty seconds of the song before I aborted it, head shaking. Apparently, I'm not the only one who is confused by this new, er, direction:

"But, no, you’re right, I can’t for the life of me figure out why she’s trying to sound like a painfully white, frightfully low budget parody of M.I.A., that doesn’t really scan for me either. I guess it’s just an example of how some people have a whole career’s worth of good music in them and some have one album." (Love is the Slug)

"I was one of those 90s teenagers who clung to "Exile In Guyville" like a life raft in high school, but the time has long passed since bashing Liz Phair for not sounding like the Liz Phair of yore was considered clever or fashionable or even remotely necessary, and so instead of lamenting the loss of "Explain It To Me" Liz, let's just focus on this Liz, and this song, which is, well, I don't know what the hell it is. What is this?! Is it a rap? Is it a dance song? Is it a skit? Is someone talking to her? Who is talking? What is happening here?!?" (Jezebel)

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