Song of the Day #4,730: ‘Spanish Doors’ – Liz Phair

Liz Phair is an artist I had no expectation of hearing from in 2021. It’s been 11 years since her last release, the half-assed, grab-bag double album Funstyle, and 16 years since her last serious release, 2005’s forgotten (and forgettable) Somebody’s Miracle.

Before that came 2003’s Liz Phair, which earned her a minor hit in ‘Why Can’t I?’ but also the derision of fans who accused her of selling out by teaming up with pop hitmakers. When you looked past the glossy production, and the whiplash effect of seeing an indie trailblazer in such a different context, that album wasn’t half-bad.

My favorite Phair albums, though, are her celebrated debut, 1993’s Exile in Guyville, and her third record, 1998’s whitechocolatespaceegg. The former is rightly acknowledged as a groundbreaking and influential touchstone, especially for women artists, while the latter is less heralded but equally good.

Now she’s back with Soberish, an album very much in the spirit of those early successes. At 54, she is in fine voice and tackling more mature subject matter, such as in today’s track, which traces the aftermath of a divorce.

She still finds room for her trademark bawdiness, however, singing frankly about sexuality as she has for nearly three decades. Suffice it to say that ‘Bad Kitty’ isn’t about a cat.

I didn’t expect this album, but I’m glad I got it. Soberish easily earns a spot among Phair’s best work, and I hope it brings her the attention she was unfairly deprived of after the early 2000’s.

[Verse 1]
Is something wrong?
You take my hand
I play along
But I can tell it’s bad

I don’t want to talk about it
Cos talking about it makes me sad
Why would I agree to something like that?

[Pre-Chorus]
Pushing past the table, spilling my drink
Locked up in the bathroom, staring at the sink
I don’t want to see anybody I know
I don’t want to be anywhere
That you and I used to go

[Chorus]
I’m slowly disappearing behind our
Spanish doors
The ghost I see in the mirror doesn’t
Smile anymore
I’m slowly disappearing behind our
Spanish doors
The ghost I see in the mirror doesn’t
Smile anymore

[Verse 2]
What about the kids?
What about the house?
What about our friends?
What do I do now?

I don’t want to think about it
Cos thinking about it is too hard
How would I replace you? Where would I start?
And I always had a strange heart

[Pre-Chorus]
Pushing past the table, spilling my drink
Lockеd up in the bathroom, staring at the sink
I don’t want to see anybody I know
I don’t want to be anywhеre
That you and I used to go

[Chorus]
I’m slowly disappearing behind our
Spanish doors
The ghost I see in the mirror doesn’t
Smile anymore
I’m slowly disappearing behind our
Spanish doors
The ghost I see in the mirror doesn’t
Smile anymore

[Bridge]
Where do I go?
What do I do?
Who can I tell about it?

[Pre-Chorus]
Pushing past the table, spilling my drink
Locked up in the bathroom, staring at the sink
I don’t want to see anybody I know
I don’t want to be anywhere
That you and I used to go

[Chorus]
I’m slowly disappearing behind our
Spanish doors
The ghost I see in the mirror doesn’t
Smile anymore
I’m slowly disappearing behind our
Spanish doors
The ghost I see in the mirror doesn’t
Smile anymore

(There’s no way out)
I can’t stop disappearing behind these
(There’s no way out of this place)
Spanish doors
(I can’t hide my lying face)
The ghost I see in the mirror doesn’t
(There’s no life here without you)
Smile anymore
(Just the echo of our love)

[Outro]
Where do I go?
What do I do?

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,730: ‘Spanish Doors’ – Liz Phair

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I know little of Phair beyond “Why Can’t I?” and songs you have featured on this blog, but glad to see she is making good new music.

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