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God Bless the Blake Babies

The Blake Babies

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Album Review

The Blake Babies are back, melodic hooks and great songs in tow. Even if you aren't familiar with their previous work, both individually and collectively, you can jump right in with this one because God Bless the Blake Babies is as welcome as the title implies. Juliana Hatfield and crew open the jangle pop gates with "Disappear." You'd almost think it was a happy song, until you listen closely — "What I wouldn't do: go back to '92 and erase the moment I met you and make you disappear." That's a kiss-off of the highest order. Hatfield shares the songwriting chores fairly equally with guitarist John Strohm, with drummer Freda Love Smith chiming in for two tunes and guest bassist/vocalist Evan Dando for one. Strohm even steps up to the center mic for his "Picture Perfect" and "Invisible World." The former is a great track, a loving ode to balance out the sentiment of "Disappear" and "What Did I Do." "She's my favorite shade of blue" goes a long way to counteract that erasing you business. Then it's Smith's turn in the spotlight for "When I See His Face," which has a slightly more alternative feel than most of the other tunes. Drugs seem to be a recurring theme. Witness "Baby Gets High," "Until I Almost Died," and "Brain Damage." Life can't be all roses and sunshine. They are rock stars, after all. The beauty of the Blake Babies is that it all sounds like roses and sunshine. Bless them, indeed.

Biography

Formed: 1986 in Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

While Blake Babies made several engaging records in the late '80s and early '90s, they never broke out of the collegiate rock circles where they were adored. It wasn't until 1992 that their leader, Juliana Hatfield, began getting recognition as a songwriter in more mainstream publications, but that was after the group was broken up. Over their four albums, Hatfield's songwriting and thin, girlish singing improved drastically as the band's post-R.E.M. alternative pop grew more muscular, branching...
Full Bio
God Bless the Blake Babies, The Blake Babies
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