Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

Musical chairs.

Yesterday heard the first single off of Liz Phair’s upcoming album, entitled “Why Can’t I?” The title is used in the chorus in such lines as “Why can’t I/ breathe when I think of you?/ Why can’t I/ speak when I talk about you?”

It’s catchy, but it doesn’t sound like the Liz Phair I’ve grown to know and love. And although I understand that musicians change their sound all the time to varying effect, and that their music reflects their maturing sensibilities, I’m not yet sure I can follow Ms. Phair to where she’s currently going, and I’m one of those who thought whitechocolatespaceegg was in fact better than Whip-Smart.

I’m not as grumbly a critical curmudgeon about rock music as my friend John can be and often is, but I can’t shake the feeling that “Why Can’t I?” makes Liz Phair sound like Avril Lavigne.

On a related note, yesterday, Jewel’s new album came out, and although I’d long since stopped being charmed by her unique brand of Joni Mitchellism, it somehow distresses me that her first single, “Intuition,”–which apparently is going to be used in a commercial for womens’ razors [1]–sounds like something that Britney Spears wishes she’d gotten a hold of.

I’m all for artists evolving and experimenting with their sound–and I think U2 may be the gold standard for doing this gracefully–but I’m less thrilled if all they’re going to do is evolve into each other.

[1] Who will save your soul, indeed.

Current music: MP3 list, Tears for Fears, “Shout”

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This entry was posted on June 4, 2003 by in Critique, Music.
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