This deconstruction seldom satisfies, however. In articulating female desire and disappointment, Guyville was as deep as it was raw. It was a necessary album. Liz Phair is an unnecessary album. Acknowledging the guilty pleasure post-adolescent women often glean from the cutesy-pie pop of Britney and Avril, the album attempts to fill some niche in the market for a more mature take on "Complicated" and the like. Fine. But Phair's self-consciousness in addressing her rediscovered lust for crushes and making out renders songs such as "Rock Me" terminally callow. It's the musical analogue to Sheryl Crow's ever-bared midriff; rather than asserting that older women can still be sexy -- in their own sharper and more meaningful way -- it worships and conforms to girliness. The idea that Liz Phair, a goddess of indie rock, needs to reinvent herself as a mere teen-pop princess is disheartening, and the songs just aren't strong enough to make the disappointment go away.
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