Musicians can come and go over the course of a decade, but then there’s Liz Phair. She not only outlasted the 1990s after becoming one of its defining rock artists, but has returned with a new album, Soberish, ten years and 11 months after 2010’s Funstyle. The new album finds Phair returning to right-hand producer Brad Wood, who helmed her classics Exile in Guyville, Whip-Smart, and Whitechocolatespaceegg. The way Phair sees it, actually, Soberish is her “first proper, thought-through, totally crafted album since Whitechocolatespaceegg,” which came out in 1998, as she told Stereogum in a recent interview. On top of it all, Phair has been talking about Soberish since she released new song “Good Side” in fall 2019, before the album got delayed due to label shakeups and the pandemic.
Regardless, it’s been quite the wait, but Phair is back to her brand of hooky, intimate rock music on Soberish. “It’s been 11 years!” Phair reflected in a release-day tweet. “Forget the talk, the teamwork to get the word out, and just listen to the music — the living current, from my heart to yours ❤️ Soberish is for you.” Alongside the album, she’s released a colorful music video for “The Game,” which features Phair dancing amid lots of streamers. It’s the celebration she deserves after staying in the game for so long herself.