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Album Review

Despite a promising start, the world of major labels did not treat Juliana Hatfield well. Become What You Are generated a handful of alt-rock hits, but its follow-up, Only Everything, barely registered, and her third album for Mammoth/Atlantic, God's Foot, was never released. Frustrated, she severed ties with Mammoth/Atlantic and released a tension-breaking EP, Please Do Not Disturb, for Bar/None in 1997 before following with her fourth official solo album, Bed, in late summer 1998. Recorded in just three days, Bed has an immediacy lacking in all of her albums since Hey Babe, but truth be told, there's little to stylistically differentiate it from any of her records. Hatfield remains loyal to jangly guitar pop dusted with the occasional grungy guitars, and she still balances precariously between charmingly innocent and cloying, which can often disguise the subversive themes or tortured emotions of her songs. For much of the album she's in good form, delivering strong songs with memorable melodies, but she fails to keep the momentum going throughout Bed, which has been a common problem on all of her records since Hey Babe. There are enough good songs to make it worthwhile for the committed fan, but at this point, unfortunately, those are the only ones who are still listening.

Biography

Born: 27 July 1967 in Wiscasset, ME

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After Juliana Hatfield disbanded the jangle pop trio the Blake Babies in 1990, she launched a solo career, performing similarly melodic indie guitar pop. Singing in an endearingly thin voice, Hatfield married her ringing hooks to sweet, lovelorn pop and startlingly honest confessional songs. Her 1992 solo debut, Hey Babe, became a college radio hit, and its follow-up, 1994's Become What You Are, was primed to become a crossover success in the wake of the commercialization of alternative rock. Although...
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Bed, Juliana Hatfield
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