whitechocolatespaceegg

whitechocolatespaceegg

4.6 6
by Liz Phair
     
 

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With her first two recordings, EXILE IN GUYVILLE and WHIP-SMART, Liz Phair channeled indie rock's rebellious sprit and the riot-grrl war on conventional female archetypes -- and not unintentionally (though not as a first priority), she became a poster girl for both those movements. On WHITECHOCOLATESPACEEGG, however, Phair documents the changes that getting married

Overview

With her first two recordings, EXILE IN GUYVILLE and WHIP-SMART, Liz Phair channeled indie rock's rebellious sprit and the riot-grrl war on conventional female archetypes -- and not unintentionally (though not as a first priority), she became a poster girl for both those movements. On WHITECHOCOLATESPACEEGG, however, Phair documents the changes that getting married and having a baby wrought on her life. "Shitloads of Money" is a blunt retort to the indie-rock religious doctrine of the purity of poverty, the title track is an ode to her son, and "Go On Ahead" discusses a couple's emotional struggles to stay together. Phair asserts the many different facets of her personality -- on the CD sleeve, she's pictured in scary heels in one shot and sneakers in another -- but she's over being über. And if that means sounding a death knell for her indie-rock era, then so be it. She's got her own agenda to address.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Following the halfhearted reception to Whip-Smart -- good enough to retain her critical stature, not good enough to enhance it -- Liz Phair slowly retreated from view, marrying and having a child. Toward the end of 1996, she began to work on her third album, but it took her nearly a year and a half to compete it, due to a variety of reasons. When whitechocolatespaceegg (a reference to her baby boy's shiny bald head) finally appeared in late summer 1998, it had been a full five years since Exile in Guyville, and nowhere was that more apparent than in Phair's third album itself. Certain familiar elements remained -- her plain vocals, strummed guitars, and character songs -- but this was a brighter, cleaner, more content Phair. There was none of the emotional turmoil that underpinned Exile and, to a lesser extent, Whip-Smart. Even if the songs concerned violent emotions, there is a studied distance between her and the songs here, whether it's the character study "Uncle Alvarez" or "Johnny Feelgood," where the female narrator is beaten up and likes it. In other words, whitechocolatespaceegg is the work of a craftsman, not an inspired work of brilliance like Exile. And while that may alienate some hardcore fans, that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially since the best moments -- "Big Tall Man," "Baby Got Going," "Go On Ahead," "What Makes You Happy," "Johnny Feelgood," and the Girlysound leftover "Shitloads of Money" -- are tuneful and literate. Still, there's a distance, not only in the lyrics but in the overly polished music, that makes whitechocolatespaceegg difficult to embrace unconditionally, even if it may be a stronger record than Whip-Smart.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/11/1998
Label:
Capitol
UPC:
0724385355448
catalogNumber:
53554

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Liz Phair   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Vocals
Scott McCaughey   Guitar
Scott Bennett   Organ,Bass,Drums
Peter Buck   Guitar
John Hiler   Organ,Piano,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Scott Litt   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Harmonica,Violin,Drums,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Mike Mills   Bass
Brad Wood   Organ,Bass,Guitar,Drums,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping
Leroy Bach   Acoustic Bass
Bill Berry   Bongos
Nathan December   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Ed Tinley   Guitar,Hand Clapping
Troy Niedhart   Accordion
Liquid Grooves   Loops
Randy Wilson   Keyboards
Jason Chasko   Bass,Guitar,Piano,Drums,Background Vocals
Tommy Furar   Bass

Technical Credits

Liz Phair   Producer,Art Direction
John Hiler   Programming,Engineer
Scott Litt   Producer
Jon Mathias   Art Direction
David Schiffman   Engineer
Brad Wood   Producer,Engineer,drum machine
Chris Sabold   Engineer
Mark O.   Art Direction
Ed Tinley   Engineer
Frank Longo   Art Direction
Liquid Grooves   Engineer
Randy Wilson   Programming
Jason Chasko   Producer

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whitechocolatespaceegg 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bought this disc soon after its release on the strength of the single "Polyester Bride," and a hunch. Ever pick up a disc you know nothing about, but you can sense it's gonna be great? Cool packaging, lots of songs, generous lyric sheet... And then come these great melodies and chiming production, infused with smarts, humor, toughness and heart. All present in the improved singing of babe next door, Liz Phair. Both figuratively and literally, she's found an appealing, relatable voice for this disc that lends itself to the abundant style-hopping of 16 clever and cool songs. Plus, her just-right vocals are complemented by all-around wonderful performances. Lots of different musical settings to choose from here. Man! do the guitars, keyboards & drums sound good -- rich, layered and unified. A sucker for the perfect pop-rock song, my favorites here include the funny, kaleidoscopic "What Makes You Happy" (spot-on Mother/Daughter scenario, soaring rhythm and melody) and the wry, laid-back "Love is Nothing." "Polyester Bride" is a crunchy, barscene classic, but the whole disc is loaded with gems. It's almost unfair to single out the merits of one tune against another -- there's so much quality and variety among these stories. What a great collection of conversations. If you're sick of mainstream radio, yet alienated by a lot of indie-rock, "whitechocolatespaceegg" is a real treat. Tasty, and good for you too. Incidentally, for the longest time, I imagined that if Sheryl Crow had an edgier best friend of the "gamma girl" variety, it would be Liz Phair. Then don't ya know, Sheryl records with her for the recent C'mon C'mon album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This may be my favorite Liz Phair album. Liz is at the epitome of her ability as a composer- the musical depth of each song is enhanced by her improved vocal and guitar skills. Furthermore, she reaches new maturity which is reflective of her new motherhood. Great record.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Liz Phair's WCSE is perhaps her most mature record to date & it's got some of her best songwriting ever! "What Makes You Happy" is a mix of pop rock & electronic mayhem, while the albums title track is perhaps one of her most touching songs ever! "Polyester Bride" is a great song that is acoustic driven & "Johnny Feelgood" is quirky & cool! This is Liz's best record, songwriting wise!
Guest More than 1 year ago
out of all Liz albums released, this is still my favorite cd of hers. After whip-smart, this was a much more relaxed album with more expressive lyrics and I absolutley love it. These songs are some of her most beautifuly written. She is absolutley timeless
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago