Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Become What You Are - Juliana Hatfield

Sometimes music doesn't fall through the cracks straight away. There are more than a few records and artists who make a splash then slip away quietly. “Become What You Are” by Juliana Hatfield is one of these records. For a few weeks in 1993 Juliana Hatfield, ex-bass player for indie pop band The Blake Babies, was the “it” girl of the, then booming, indie rock scene. She was all over magazines and MTV and her album was selling pretty well. But as so often happens, her fame declined, her follow ups didn't sell as well and a dispute with her label lead to one of her studio albums being left on the shelf after being completed (“God's Foot” is still in the archives at Atlantic as of 2010). Nowadays Juliana's success is not really remembered, even though she still gets covered by the American music press when she brings out a new album. Despite having fame pulled out from under her, she continued to make music and now records and releases her music on her own Ye Olde Records label. She has never made a better record than “Become What You Are” but her efforts have been consistently good. Her song writing has matured as has her voice, but it still retains the girlish quality that has always made her music charming. In some ways Juliana seems much more suited to the life of a hard working indie musician than a star. Her autobiography, “When I Grow Up”, gives the impression of a woman who loves music so much that she cant do anything else but is not completely prepared to expose her self as one needs to to be a star. Juliana Hatfield is an intelligent and complex person, not qualities that are really conducive to super-stardom. The music of “Become What You Are” is the same but with the pop sheen and sparkle that made it a brief hit in 1993.