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Liz Phair

Soberish

Release Date: Jun 4, 2021

Genre(s): Pop/Rock

Record label: Chrysalis Records

73

Music Critic Score

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Soberish

Very Good, Based on 5 Critics

Under The Radar - 85
Based on rating 8.5/10

After more than a decade, Liz Phair has finally reemerged to deliver her seventh album. Wrapped in the airily varnished production of Phair and Brad Wood--co-producer on several of Phair's major releases, including her seminal 1993 debut Exile in Guyville--the sweetly melodic Soberish stands in stark contrast to the grim mood enveloping a nation still in crisis mode. While the inattentive ear may perceive Phair's new release to be one more in an expansive line of indistinguishable pop rock offerings, a second listen should reveal it as the musically educated, lyrically sincere near-masterpiece it most certainly is.

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musicOMH.com - 80
Based on rating 4

‘Whatever happened to Liz Phair?’ is one of those questions that occasionally arises. For Phair should have been one of music’s biggest stars, had her career taken a different path. Her 1993 debut, Exile In Guyville, was one of the all-time great records, designed as a song-by-song reply to The Rolling Stones‘ Exile On Main Street.

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The Line of Best Fit - 70
Based on rating 7/10

With her records Exile In Guyville, Whip-Smart, Whitechocolatespaceegg and 2003's self-titiled record all garnering critical praise - as well as a Grammy win for the Chicagoan with indie-rock chops - she's now returning after eleven years with her seventh studio release. A cohesive record, on Soberish Phair sounds polished, clean and equipped with a new arsenal of songs about breakups, addiction and small glimpses into her inner workings. The biggest cuts, "Spanish Doors", "Soberish" and "Dosage", tune into focus the playfulness while being grounded; a second (or third, or fourth or fifth in Phair's case) coming-of-age record of sorts.

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Pitchfork - 70
Based on rating 7.0/10

Soberish is Liz Phair's first album in 11 years. There is a lot riding on this one. Her 1993 debut Exile in Guyville is an enduring alt-rock touchstone. Her mid-2000s foray into radio-friendly pop? Not so much. Unlike certain other artists for whom this is true--say, Weezer--Phair largely took the ….

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Exclaim - 60
Based on rating 6/10

Although Liz Phair preceded her latest LP with three of indie rock's most-maligned albums, the Chicago artist has afforded herself so much early-career goodwill that listeners will still tune in to Soberish, her seventh record and first in over a decade. But it's Phair's level of undying buoyancy that makes Soberish such a divided listen. Produced by Brad Wood -- who recorded her critically-acclaimed debut, Exile in Guyville, and beloved follow-up, Whip-Smart -- Phair's latest LP could be looked at as a nod to her past and an attempt to recapture some of the early magic that defined her career.

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