- Personnel: Liz Phair (vocals, guitar, piano, bongos, hand claps); Brad Wood (guitar, organ, synthesizer, bass, drums, percussion, background vocals); Casey Rice (guitar, cymbal, hand claps, background vocals); John Casey Awsumb (harmonica); Tony Marlotti (bass); Tutti Jackson, O (background vocals).
- The 2008 reissue of Liz Phair's groundbreaking debut album, EXILE IN GUYVILLE, features two songs recorded during the original sessions for the album, as well as a bonus DVD about the making of the album and its cultural moment. Upon its release in 1993, EXILE IN GUYVILLE was a seismic event in the shift from alternative rock to indie rock, being both one of the key early lo-fi releases and, arguably, the album that completely re-defined the female singer-songwriter for its time. Crucially, it's also filled with smart, funny indie rock classics such as "Divorce Song," "6'1"" and "Never Said."
Rolling Stone (p.77) - 5 star out of 5 -- "EXILE IN GUYVILLE was a peep show of sexual and emotional bravado, conducted over scrappy rock riffs..."
Rolling Stone (10/31/02, p.136) - Ranked # 24 in Rolling Stone's "Women in Rock: The 50 Essential Albums" - "...A perfect debut album..."
Rolling Stone (5/13/99, p.54) - Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone (6/10/93, p.68) - 3.5 Stars - Very Good - "...Despite its low-fi production, EXILE IN GUYVILLE roams giddily all over the pop landscape...Phair writes sturdy riffs that render her rudimentary guitar technique beside the point..."
Spin (p.94) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "'Divorce Song' is one of the best breakup lyrics ever....A towering, mature achievement..."
Spin (9/99, pp.124-5) - Ranked #13 in Spin Magazine's "90 Greatest Albums of the '90s."
Spin (4/93, p.97) - Highly Recommended - "...an astounding hunk of fresh-faced, edgy pop capped by Phair's clean but lacerating guitar-strum and a remarkable sense of vocal delivery..."
Entertainment Weekly (6/4/93, p.54) - "...Phair's confidently off-kilter voice gets over like a poetry slam winner unsatisfied with her last verse..." - Rating: A
Q (1/94, p.87) - Included in Q's list of `The 50 Best Albums Of 1993' - "...superior garage rock..."
Q (8/93, p.98) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...a melodic sleight of hand that invokes the detachment of Suzanne Vega, some Throwing Muses opacity and Big Star's thoroughbred rattle...the kind of record to give your little sister some very big ideas..."
Alternative Press (5/01, p.104) - Included in AP's "10 Essential Breakup Albums".
Alternative Press (7/95, p.100) - Ranked #83 in AP's "Top 99 of '85-'95" - "...The eighteen pop songs of EXILE IN GUYVILLE are a sweeping tour through the stupid blisses and devastating abuses of sex and love....Every song is self-contained and freshly conceived..."
Melody Maker (9/4/93, p.35) - "...[Phair] brings something a little bit fresh and dangerous to the articulate chantootsie genre...comes on like Polly Harvey with a sense of purpose and as much melody as attitude..."
Musician (9/93, p.76) - "...what makes Phair worth hearing isn't her conceptual ambition, but the sheer strength of her writing...she's an ace at conveying mood through melody and expressing complex feelings with simple, vivid imagery..."
Village Voice (3/1/94, p.5) - Ranked #1 in the Village Voice's 1993 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.
Billboard - "Phair's brutally honest debut has held up well....The album stands as a snapshot of a heady and confusing time."
NME (Magazine) (8/28/93, p.37) - 7 - Very Good - "...she's capable of communicating her sexual politics with a fair degree of incisive anger, sarcasm and humour..."
Blender (Magazine) (p.78) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "Her masterpiece, EXILE IN GUYVILLE, remains full of surprises -- so funny, so sly, so fragile....[With] candid confessions in lyrics that turn out to be outrageous jokes or cryptic riddles."
Pitchfork (Website) - "GUYVILLE still runs up your spine on track one with its full-on opener, '6'1"', which is the best song she's ever recorded: tough, but exposed, with cute feints in the lyrics, a wicked riff, and the door slamming open on her sassy tomboy vocals."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.97) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Never before had popular music addressed gender politics with such venom and clinical honesty, a foul-mouthed catalogue of rallying cries..."