Depending on which source one read, singer-songwriter Liz Phair was either one of the most significant independent talents of the early 1990s or a polarizing figure who garnered attention through attention-grabbing lyrics and calculated shifts in musical direction. Despite this schism in perception, Phair was responsible for one of the most highly-regarded alternative rock releases of the decade, Exile on Guyville (1993), which addressed issues of female identity and sexuality found it in blunt, often explicit terms. The album rocketed her to the forefront of the indie music scene, where she stood shoulder to shoulder with such fellow forthright female rockers as Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morrissette. But Phair found it difficult to surpass the success of her initial release; subsequent albums like Whip-Smart (1994), whitechocolatespaceegg (1998) and Liz Phair (2003) were condemned for either failing to reproduce the raw, intimate tone of Exile or, in the case of the latter record, deviating into radio-friendly pop, which branded her as a traitor to the indie cause. Phair weathered the backlash by revisiting her past with a 2008 reissue of Exile and a second career as a composer for television. Her forays into pop, however, were still marked by bad luck with labels and listeners, forcing her to release her sixth album, Funstyle (2010), through her own website. In doing so, Phair actually became an icon for independent musicians by steering her career according to her own tastes and instinct rather than the whims of record executives and critics.