That record's attempts to radio-ize her sound only dismantled the depth of her music-- if not the awkwardness-- resulting in an odd batch of songs that perhaps encapsulated Phair's faulty view of what constitutes a radio-friendly album. But, unlike the complex, alternatingly cocky and self-effacing sexuality of "Flower," "H. C."'s unqualified sperm-praise is entirely vain and degrading. C." is without question the best water-cooler conversation piece on , "Rock Me" makes for a close second.
Ten years on from , Liz has finally managed to achieve what seems to have been her goal ever since the possibility of commercial success first presented itself to her: to release an album that could have just as easily been made by anybody else. C." ("Hot White Cum"), in which Phair extols the virtue of semen as a beauty aid ("... Even more degrading is the constipated donkeyfuck harmonica solo towards the track's end, a hilarious sideshow that only magnifies the triteness of the song's glycerin-slick production. Here, Phair sings exuberantly about the benefits of an affair with a younger guy including-- I shit you not-- "[playing] Xbox on [his] floor." In between choruses of, "Baby baby baby if it's alright/ Want you to rock me all night," Phair declares, "I'm starting to think that young guys rule! It's hard to imagine that the Liz Phair of ten years ago wouldn't have had something profound and devastating to say about older women who shack up with clueless college kids, but on "Rock Me"-- as on the rest of -- vapid, cliché-filled rhyme couplets dominate.
Rock in the ’90s craved authentic, raw songwriting, while the ’00s introduced acts like Lavigne, who looked and acted vaguely countercultural, but were undeniable major label pop acts.A move into the pop world was first noticeable on her 1998 album, — a direction that would confound critics and fans alike.Five years later, Phair would release her first pop-flavored record after working with the Matrix, the songwriting team with whom Avril Lavigne worked on her 2002 debut, .Even the songs on , Phair used the word's negative connotations as a means of pointed self-deprecation and lamented, "Whatever happened to a boyfriend/ The kind of guy who makes love cause he's in it/ I want a boyfriend/ I want all that stupid old shit/ Letters and sodas." "Flower", Phair's most notorious track to date, reads like a laundry list of graphic sexual desires, but rather than paint a uniformly flattering portrait of her love interest, he's immature, he's obnoxious, and despite it all, she still wants to fuck his brains out-- a simple, necessarily crude semi-contradiction that speaks volumes. Take, for example, the album's first single, "Why Can't I", "co"-written by Avril Lavigne songwriting team The Matrix.With a chorus of, "Why can't I breathe whenever I think about you?Phair fell somewhere in between those two modes, so her collaboration with Lavigne’s team made sense.Phair’s self-titled album did help her to reach a broader listener base, but her loyal fans weren’t so keen on the idea of a pop album.It still stands as a powerfully confrontational album, skirting convention yet marked by Phair's striking awareness of her own limitations.Unfortunately, it seems that Phair has spent the better part of her post-." and a cookie-cutter rock/pop background, the song could easily pass for Michelle Branch.The lyric, "We haven't fucked yet/ But my head's still spinning," seemingly seeks to set Phair apart from the teen-pop crowd, but the use of the word is completely gratuitous-- change it to "kissed" and stick a 16-year-old girl in front of the mic and no one could tell the difference.