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Innocence and Experience

Blake Babies

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Album Review

Perched right on the edge of genuine stardom thanks to the critical adoration of 1990's Sunburn and the general sea change heralded by the commercial success of Nirvana and other alt rockers, the Blake Babies chose instead to break up. It was nothing personal; John P. Strohm and Freda Boner were homesick for Indiana and Juliana Hatfield didn't want to leave Boston. That sort of casualness typified the band throughout their brief existence, and indeed, it's a huge part of their charm. Coyly taking their name from the most famous book of poetry by their name's inspiration, Innocence and Experience is a similarly off-the-cuff collection. Less a full-career overview than a collection of rarities, favorite tracks, and demos, the 14-track collection hits all of the group's releases, paying particular attention to Sunburn and its immediate predecessor, 1989's Earwig. It has some faults as a retrospective, but it does hit almost all of the high points (Earwig's "Take Your Head off My Shoulder" and Sunburn's "Look Away" are the most egregious omissions) and the demos are interestingly different from the more familiar versions. Also of interest to Hatfield fans is the inclusion of "Boiled Potato," the rarity that Hatfield would rework as the anorexia metaphor "Feed Me" on her 1992 EP I See You.

Customer Reviews

yeah

One of the girls is from Lincoln County, Maine, and I'm doing a project on that county. So, yeah, that's why I commented.

Boston by way of Bloomington

A great place to start if you are interested in exploring this band. A few omissions, but it will just give an excuse to buy everything they recorded.

Biography

Formed: 1986 in Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

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
Innocence and Experience, Blake Babies
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