By 2003, the latest era of slick, manufactured teen pop had come to an end—the Backstreet Boys were too old, Justin Timberlake had jettisoned Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, and Mike from *NSYNC, and Britney Spears transitioned to adulthood by French-kissing her grandmother on the MTV Video Music Awards. But the industry still found a way to exploit the now older, savvier ex-teeny boppers: faux legitimate music. Namely, teen girls that were still dolled up pop singers, but given either a carefully crafted rock edge, like Avril Lavigne, or presented as a legitimate singer-songwriter, like Vanessa Carlton.
The Canadian all-girl band Lillix came along at this time, and was part of that wave. Nevertheless, they actually were legitimate musicians, forming a band when most of the members were teenagers, which is pretty damn awesome. They’re like the all-girl Radish, or the Canadian Bangles! Lillix was marketed like a teeny bopper group, not a proper rock band, because they were young and their audience was supposed to be, too. The members of Lillix can and did write their own stuff, but Maverick Records brought in known corporate songwriting talents like Lauren Christy and Linda Perry, and then saturated the world with Lillix’s unnecessary cover of “What I Like About You.” That song was used in two big teen movies, Freaky Friday and 13 Going On 30, and as the theme song for the WB sitcom What I Like About You. I remember Lillix best for its original single, “It’s About Time,” which sounded pleasingly like a rejected cut from Liz Phair’s 2003 self-titled power pop album (which was largely written by the same songwriting team that wrote “It’s About Time”). I came to eventually hate “It’s About Time,” because it was used in a contact lens commercial starring Lillix that played every 10 minutes on a loop on six blaring monitors at the video store I was unfortunate enough to work at.
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Okay, so maybe it’s not great. But it’s good. Also, if I am to believe the Popdose demographic sheet, you are an adult male between the ages of 25 and 54. Lillix’s “It’s About Time” is essentially musical lip gloss for a population that also buys actual lip gloss. So it’s not for you. But at least it was young people playing their own instruments, and not just dancing around to bad choreography. Lillix’s debut album Falling Uphill peaked at #118; “It’s About Time” failed to chart.