By Dan PotterJuliana Hatfield – Weird
American Laundromat Records
Juliana Hatfield has always been on the fringe of the alternative music scene, defining weird on her own terms. Her latest aptly titled offering brings everything she’s never said before to the surface.
Feelings of being out of step with the world emanate from the mellow track “It’s So Weird.” Between the sedate classic rock influenced chord choices are stories of awkwardness and relations that have gone sour over time, sung for all to hear like a big celebration of the alienation. This uneasy mellowness continues on “Sugar” as Hatfield croons “Sugar, I hate your guts, Sugar I love you so much” as the acoustic guitar picking seems to quote George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun.”
Cleanliness is set-aside on “Alright, Yeah” where fuzzy glam-rock guitar playing pushes things to the edge of alternative rock oblivion. Tongue biting anger and distrust bubbles underneath her heart melting voice on “Paid to Lie,” summing up this album’s self-restrained angst perfectly; that which makes it such a gloriously tasty bitter pill to swallow.