MUSIC: Exile's Return

Liz Phair's second album is winningly lusty and honest

Liz Phair isn't a great singer (her intonation is sometimes uncertain), her songs too often sound alike (a slight melody with a plucky bass), and she is no longer an independent-label secret (she just appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone). Yet there is something so vital and appealing about this Chicago rocker that it's hard not to admire her. Not many singer-songwriters manage to be so honest and so much fun at the same time.

Phair's 1993 debut album, Exile in Guyville, dealt bluntly, sometimes profanely, always intelligently, with sexual desire. It sold 200,000 copies -- a good showing for...

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