“Extraordinary” was the 2nd single off of Liz Phair’s 4th studio album, which was self-titled. Today’s Song of the Day, “Extraordinary”, was released as a single in January of 2004.
“Extraordinary” by Liz Phair
from the album, Liz Phair (2003)
Song of the Day
“I am extraordinary,
if you’d ever get to know me.
I am extraordinary,
I am just your ordinary,
average everyday sane psycho –
Average everyday sane psycho.”
An underrated song from an even more underrated album. Liz Phair is so much more than the alt-goddess-groundbreaker-indie-icon of 1993’s Exile In Guyville (even though that Liz is pretty fantastic, too).
I remember her 2003 self-titled album coming out and people dissing it for being “too pop” and/or not “edgy” enough. Putting Liz in a box that she was supposed to never grow out of, expand from, or travel away from. Thing is, yes, there is a lot of pop-sensibilities going on in 2003’s Liz Phair, but there always was. Dig deeper. Take in the lyrics. To me, songs like “Extraordinary” are groundbreaking, too.
Here are some takes on “Extraordinary” via Wikipedia:
The song garnered mixed reviews from music critics, who were dissatisfied with her attempt to go mainstream. Slate’s Mim Udovitch said that Phair sounds “bogus,” while PopMatters called the song “sickeningly effervescent.”
Some critics were more complimentary towards the song, however. Chuck Klosterman, writing for Spin, praised the song’s “authenticity,” while Allmusic noted that it was one of its parent album’s highlights. Michael Paoletta of Billboard called the song “ultra-catchy” and “oh-so-buoyant”.
Thank you, Chuck Klosterman (always love him). I agree re: the song’s authenticity. And yes, it is catchy and buoyant, and that heavy guitar riff at the beginning is everything. Also, I adore the lyric “I am just your ordinary average everyday sane psycho super goddess”.
To me, that is giving the finger to society who tries to put women in a box, make them one thing, keep them in some forever aspirational pedestal that no one can balance on. Society does it the most to women in the spotlight, be it film, fashion, or music. I love that she’s breaking molds again, singing about taking the trash out and obsessing over someone she’s crushing on. Ordinary and psycho like the best of us.
“Extraordinary” (live) by Liz Phair
What do you think of “Extraordinary”?