Are you familiar with American singer-songwriter Liz Phair? If you’ve never heard any of the music created by the Chicago native, you genuinely don’t know what you’re missing out on. She’s been writing her own material since the 1990s, performing consistently throughout that time. After being rejected by a few record studios, she decided to take matters into her own hands and self-released her own cassette tapes in the mid-90s.
Clearly, her sound resonated with fans even if it didn’t exactly resonate with a few music producers. She still performs today and has released a number of albums throughout her career. If you know her work, then you probably already have your own favorites. If you’re not familiar with her, here are 10 of her most popular songs, ranked from number 10 to number one. Of course, there’s a YouTube link for each one so when you have a second, click on them and see what you think.
10. Count On My Love (2005)
This is a truly sweet song. It talks about experiencing the uncertainties of life and not knowing what tomorrow brings, yet also resting in the knowledge that as long as two people who are in love are together, they can face anything. The lyrics go on to discuss how it doesn’t really matter what happens or where they end up, as long as these two individuals can be with each other. Anyone who has ever been in love knows what this feeling is like. The lucky ones who fall in love and stay that way can understand this song on a level that most people can only dream of.
9. Love Is Nothing (1998)
On the other side of the coin, you have this song that she released in 1998. It shows a different side of love, the kind that doesn’t last. It talks about those feelings that people tend to experience when they first fall in love and how those emotions can run white-hot, but only for a very short amount of time. According to the song, those types of emotions have no staying power so in the end, that type of “love” is completely worthless because it doesn’t last.
8. Explain It To Me (1993)
Here you have a song about fame. It’s not all rainbows and ponies, as you’ll quickly find out from listening to the lyrics. It talks about the downside of being in the public eye. Most of the lyrics center around the idea that an overwhelming number of individuals have a tendency to sit around and dream about being famous as if that will fix all of their problems. The thing is, the majority of them aren’t aware that the life one dreams of and the reality of the situation are vastly different, especially in this case. The song brings all of that to light as it talks about the challenges and hurdles associated with being famous and how it’s not always as much fun as it sounds.
7. Never Said (1993)
People have been trying to guess exactly what was the core subject matter of this song for years. The truth of the matter is that it can be used in a lot of different situations. The lyrics talk about being accused of saying something when the person who was accused did not, in fact, say anything at all. Anyone who listens to it can take those lyrics and do with them what they will. If you have ever been in a situation where someone told you something in confidence and then felt like you blabbed all over town about it when you really didn’t, then you can identify with these lyrics quite well.
6. Spanish Doors (2021)
This one will really get to you if you’ve ever had one of those relationships where you just know that something isn’t quite right, yet the other individual in the relationship keeps telling you that everything is just fine. That is a terrible situation to be in because it virtually eliminates the chance that you can work on the issue, whatever it might be. The lyrics in this song refer to having that knowledge and then being almost immediately shut down by the other individual with the reassurance that everything is “fine” when it so obviously is not.
5. Polyester Bride (1991)
Despite the title of this song, the lyrics aren’t only talking about getting married, nor are they discussing a certain type of material. They are much more about deciding what you want out of life and then realizing that you’re worth having that. Even if it’s something that seems very difficult to achieve, it’s better to work toward that goal than it is to simply settle for something that won’t make you happy. At its core, this is a song about learning who you are, what you want and then going out and getting it.
4. Extraordinary (2003)
Here you have the lyrics to a song that is essentially about having intense emotions that you might not be able to share. It talks about essentially living what looks like one life to everyone else who’s on the outside looking in and then becoming a completely different person in private. It also deals with what it’s like to experience those intense emotions and have nowhere to turn as you’re forced to write them down on paper and then burn them so no one else can see.
3. Supernova (1994)
Have you ever met someone that was so spectacular, it seemed almost as if it couldn’t be real? This song deals with that type of scenario. It is talking about someone being a “human supernova” because their spirit burns so brightly that it serves as a light for virtually everyone else.
2. Headache (1998)
The lyrics here deal with being in the middle of a war, more specifically a Russian army. However, the lyrics shouldn’t necessarily be taken in a literal sense. The song is much more likely about fighting a war within your own mind. That war can be about virtually anything, as there isn’t a person walking around that doesn’t have their own demons they have to combat on a daily basis.
1. Why Can’t I? (2003)
Most people have experienced a situation where they desperately want something, yet it just isn’t meant to be. The lyrics here deal with getting so close to achieving something that you’ve always wanted, only to realize in the end that it will never happen. In the song, it deals with a relationship but in reality, it serves as a metaphor for virtually anything that the listener has ever dreamed of achieving.