Singer-songwriter Liz Phair is scheduled to perform her critically acclaimed 1993 debut record Exile in Guyville on June 25 at the Hiro Ballroom in New York City, one day after an expanded edition of the album is released on ATO Records. But the news has been met with mixed reactions from critics.
What the commentators said
“C’mon, like you didn’t see this coming,” said Jeff Skruck in Prefixmag.com. This year marks the fifteenth anniversary “of one of the top ten best albums to come out of the 1990s,” so it makes sense that Phair “would give her best album the full live treatment.” We prayed that she would, and thank god our prayers have been answered.
Liz Phair “recently stated that she was feeling creative for the first time in 15 years,” said the blog Stereogum, so she’s “jumping back to the last time she had new ideas.” Exile in Guyville really spoke to a new generation of women when it was released in 1993, but to be honest, “it’s hard to say she’s done much speaking for or two anyone or anything since Whip-Smart and whitechocolatespaceegg.” Since those albums, it’s pretty much been Phair’s “half-naked photo years.”
Phair’s decision to play Exile in Guyville live “is a pretty smooth way to get around the ‘how can we miss you if you’ve never gone away?’ problem has-beens face,” said Anthony Miccio in the blog Idolator. But Phair isn’t the first artist to revisit “former glories.” And maybe all this “self-reflection” will influence her next album of new material, which is planned for release this fall.