“Red Light Fever” Liz Phair

There’s something about anticipating great love, great desire that outpaces even the realization of those desires, something before, in the process of waiting and wanting.  For Phair, that comes out in the form of “Scared the lights will turn green, you’ll have to be seen.”  The song is about anticipation and longing for something which the consequences are unknown and the last thing on your mind, and that’s there in the introspective teenage-y lyrics (“Too many people want too many things, but you only want to forget”), but even more so in the production of the track – what’s coming, what she wants to come, it’s all imbued with maximum desire in Michael Penn’s production.  Plenty of people voiced plenty of issues with Liz Phair’s 2003 self-titled release – was it a 37 year old auditioning for the part of Avril Lavigne or just the blandest free-divorcee-gone-wild record ever recorded?  I think it was a misunderstood beauty of a record, and that’s embodied in this song of immense possibility and immense emotion.  That controversy seems distant 5 years later anyway, and instead it reminds me of a hot summer, of “juvenile” feelings that can come flooding back at any moment.


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