Why Can't I?

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"Why Can't I?"
Liz phair-why cant i s.jpg
Single by Liz Phair
from the album Liz Phair
  • "Jeremy Engle"
  • "Fine Again"
Released May 2003
Length 3:28
Label Capitol
Producer(s) The Matrix
Liz Phair singles chronology
"Why Can't I?"

"Why Can't I?" is a song by American pop rock artist Liz Phair. It was released in May 2003 as the lead single from her self-titled album, Liz Phair. It reached number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100, Phair's highest-charting single to date, and only top 40 single. The single was certified gold, having sold 500,000 copies.[1] The song is featured on the 13 Going on 30 Soundtrack.


"Why Can't I?" is written in the key of B major and has a tempo of 81 beats per minute.[2] It follows a chord progression of B–B/A–Gm7–E(add 2).[3]

Critical reception

Chuck Taylor of Billboard called the song a "melodic adult pop/rocker" and a "knock-out, stand-out, break-out record that adult top 40 should take right home."[4] Matt LeMay of Pitchfork said that with the "cookie-cutter rock/pop background" it could easily pass for Michelle Branch."[5] Mary Huhn of the New York Post called the song "a breathless romantic confection, and very un-Phair-like".[6] Mim Udovitch of Slate called the song an "almost parodically basic power ballad" but stated that the chorus is "hooky".[7] Adrien Begrand of PopMatters called the song a "note-for-note retread" of "Complicated" by Avril Lavigne.[8]

Music video

The video was directed by Phil Harder and was released in June 2003.

Chart performance

Chart (2003-04) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[9] 17
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[10] 37
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 32
US Billboard Hot Adult Top 40[12] 7

External links


  1. ^ Liz Phair Sales Certifications
  2. ^ "BPM Database - Browse". bpmdatabase.com. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  3. ^ "Why Can't I?". www.musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  4. ^ Billboard - June 7, 2003, page 42
  5. ^ Matt LeMay (2003-06-24). "Liz Phair: Liz Phair | Album Reviews". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
  6. ^ Mary Huhn (2003-08-10). "CYNIC TURNED SEXPOT LIZ PHAIR DOESN'T WANT TO BE COOL ANYMORE". New York Post. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  7. ^ Mim Udovitch (2003-06-27). "What Is Liz Phair Thinking?". New York Post. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  8. ^ Begrand, Adrien (2003-06-22). "Liz Phair: self-titled . PopMatters. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – Liz Phair – Why Can't I?" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  10. ^ "Charts.nz – Liz Phair – Why Can't I?". Top 40 Singles.
  11. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/307684/liz-phair/chart
  12. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/307684/liz-phair/chart?f=343

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