Sunday, September 05, 2010
Blast from the Past: Become What You Are by The Juliana Hatfield Three
Title: Become What You Are (Amazon, Wikipedia)
Artist: The Juliana Hatfield Three (Official, Wikipedia)
The former Blake Babies singer and one-time Lemonhead Juliana Hatfield released what is essentially her second solo album in 1993, under the group name The Juliana Hatfield Three, to extremely positive reviews and lots of airplay on MTV’s 120 Minutes. This was still the early days of the post-Nirvana alternative explosion when a lot of bands that had been around for a while (like Dinosaur Jr. and The Lemonheads) or bands that were formed by members of other bands that had recently broken up (like Belly and The Breeders) were getting a lot of airplay and having minor mainstream hits.
Juliana Hatfield came from the same Boston, MA scene that gave us bands like The Lemonheads, the Pixies, Buffalo Tom, and Dinosaur Jr., thus her sound is pretty much what you’d expect—a healthy mix of pop and punk rock, what eventually became known as indie rock. Much of the album’s lyrical content deals with relationships and female identity issues (see the opening track “Supermodel”). In 1994 the song “Spin the Bottle” was included on the soundtrack for the movie Reality Bites and released as a single with a video that included stars from the film and a Kid in the Hall.
This is an album that I’ve had off and on a lot over the years and for some reason I got it out yesterday and was reminded that this is a really good record. The songs are catchy, the lyrics are intelligent, and the hooks will drag you in. In a lot of ways I think I appreciate this record now, 17 years later, more than I did when it was released.
To hear some of this record check out the videos to the singles “My Sister,” “For the Birds,” and “Spin the Bottle.”