Friday, July 29, 2011

Juliana Hatfield" "There's Always Another Girl" (album review)

The innocent voice may be a little raspier with age, and the heart may be a little more ragged and roughed up by experience, but the soul of Juliana Hatfield remains strong on her new album There's Always Another Girl. Hatfield was able to produce this record with fan donations made through a PledgeMusic campaign.

Hatfield seems less confined on this record.  She definitely adds some moments and elements that are atypical of her work.

The little-used piano is busted out for the beautifully lush and melodic opener "Change the World".  An understated keyboard helps makes the puppy "Candy Wrappers" much more of a headbopper than it's rock reprise "And Again".  "Sex and Drugs" has funky rhythms that make it a seductive little number.  Hatfield dabbles with buzz and swoop effects on "Batteries" to mixes results.

There's no danger of Hatfield alienating her long-time fans though.  The title track is a stripped-down ditty with eloquent lyrics, something she's always been adept at.  On "Don't Wanna Dance" she revisits her recurring theme of wrestling with the realities of her career and day-to-day life.

At 14-tracks in length one would expect to have some amount of filler on the album.  I could have done without "Stray Kids" and "Vagabond" as neither really made an impression.  The opening lines of "Someone Else's Problem" sound so similar to The Carpenter's "Superstar" that it tends to distract you for the rest of the song.  However, in the interest of giving fans what they literally paid for, the desire to provide more is completely understandable.

There's Always Another Girl features some of Hatfield's best guitar work to date as well.  The energetic "Taxicab" boasts one of her most memorable riffs.  A twangy lick and simple refrain make "Wasting Time" one of the absolute standouts on the album.

For her next album Hatfield has already mused about recording a covers album.  That's something I can't wait to hear.

Best tracks: "Sex and Drugs", "Wasting Time"

Track listing for There's Always Another Girl:
  • Change the World
  • Taxicab
  • Don't Wanna Dance
  • There's Always Another Girl
  • Candy Wrappers
  • Someone Else's Problem
  • Sex and Drugs
  • Stray Kids
  • Failure
  • Vagabond
  • And Again
  • Batteries
  • Wasting Time
  • Thousands of Guitars
7.5/10
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8 comments:

IraDW said...

Juliana's vocals and guitar work have never sounded better. she's an awesome talent

Randy A. said...

I agree! This is an outstanding album. Juliana just keeps getting better and better as time goes on - amazing. Terrific songwriting and musicianship.

I don't understand the reviewer's reference to "Superstar" by the Carpenters? I'm not hearing that song at all in "Someone Else's Problem". Oh well, it's nice to see Juliana get a favorable review so I am grateful for that. Thank you!

John R said...

"Someone Else's Problem" is actually my favorite track. It's whimsical but sad all at once, and I think it features some of her better singing/songwriting on the album.

Anonymous said...

It is disappointing that Juliana censored her breasts on the album cover. She really ruined a very beautiful photograph.

Anonymous said...

Come on Juliana, #FreeTheNipple!

Raelyn L said...

Juliana always censors her areolae in that photo due to the scars from her boob job still showing in it.

Liz said...

oh, surprising! i didn't know she had implants. do you know when she got them? they look good!

Raelyn L said...

Yes, Juliana got them in early 2007 or late 2006. The photo was shot only a short period of months after and her periareolar incision scars would have been too distinct yet. They are nice looking on her!