Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Liz Phair: Soberish [Chrysalis, 2021]
In her first new music since 2010, Phair fashions 13 sturdy and economical if slightly sub-tuneful pop songs from the precisely enunciated affections and anxieties of a serious serial monogamist. In the boldest she assumes the voice of fellow greater Chicagoan Laurie Anderson sick of Lou's Warhol stories: "Oh Superman, I've done as much as I can/You're not the life of the party." In the catchiest, a welcome snatch of "I Want It That Way" softens hard truths about how much he'll miss what they had. In the drunkest, she admits that love at first sight is scary but wishes they could stop "dicking around" even so. A-