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Liz Phair: Whip-Smart

Deborah Frost, Musician, October 1994

IF EXILE IN GUYVILLE was Liz Phair's response to Exile on Main Street, Whip-Smart may well be her answer to Smell the Glove. As if it matters. The male, white college crowd that seems to have instantly adopted Phair (who looked, in concert, with her neat bangs and kilt, as if she'd just been excused from parochial school prior to showtime) as the girl most likely to turn them blue, will undoubtedly claim the chant and pump of 'Supernova' as the 'We Are the Champions' of their generation, rather than the 'Big Bottom', which is what it really sounds like. But where Exile seemed liberating and came off like personal confessions, Whip-Smart comes off largely like professional shtick.

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