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Released: 3rd October 2005.

Liz Phair - Somebody's MiracleLiz Phair may never make another smart-sexy classic like "Exile in Guyville", but two years ago, when the former indie vixen took a shot at teen pop, lots of old-time devotees, especially those of the graying male variety, were apoplectic about her new direction.

For starters, "Somebody's Miracle" reasserts Phair as a confident songwriter. Sure, there is a cheesy line or two ("Each frog has a prince that's waiting inside of him") that could have been written by an intern at her record label's headquarters, but for the most part, the songs are confessional and from the heart.

Perhaps the biggest complaint about Liz Phair was that she teamed up with The Matrix (known for his work for Avril Lavigne) for songwriting partnership, which in turn produced the plain-as-bread "Why Can't I" and "Extraordinary". Neither were bad pop songs, but they left no room for imagination, something Phair has done so well in the past and has won over fans (see "Flower" and "Divorce Song").

On "Somebody's Miracle", it's Phair who is given writing credits for most of the tunes, and it's a relief. Her honesty is greatly appreciated and heartfelt on "Table For One" and "Closer To You", while the mainstream title track carries more weight than just another song you listen to on the radio.

This may not be a timeless album that you'll keep going back to when you think about Liz Phair, but it signifies a point Phair's reached in her career - having fun and not caring about her past glories.

* * * * (Lynx)

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