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Become What You Are

Juliana Hatfield Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 9.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Become What You Are + Only Everything + How to Walk Away
Price For All Three: 18.51

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  • Only Everything 4.10
  • How to Walk Away 4.93

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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Aug 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: East West
  • ASIN: B000024BPV
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,387 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I seem to have spent probably too much time on amazon reviewing, and browsing, juliana hatfield albums. Infact, I seem to have written several hundred word reviews of a couple of albums, but my obsession with juliana hatfield music is justified because she is a brilliant artist, and any way in this case, my review will be short(er) because it is so easy for me to describe Become what you are, possibly my favourite album of all time. There is an atmosphere, or feeling, behind the music- slightly sad, very youthful, like juliana is managing to capture exactly what it feels like to be her. Although the album has a lo-fi 90's indie- rock sound, I think it would appeal to lots of people, whether they like that music genre. Its nice to see a female artist be herself and sincere, not having to be artificially confrontational, flaky and pathetic or just a big slut. Juliana sings about supermodels, fictional sisters, saving baby birds, past presidents, revenge on rapists, small town blues, addictions and playing spin the bottle. I like this girl. Don't you like the sound of this girl? Maybe you won't love this album as much as I do, but its great music and you'll get a real sense of a time, a place, and being in someone elses head.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Becoming ... a great album :) 21 Sep 2002
Format:Audio CD
The First time ever I heard of Juliana Hatfield, was through the words "I think I'm addicted / I got an insatiable need / I think I'm addicted (addicted) / Finally it happened to me." ...
A friend wrote those someplace, and I liked it .. so I asked who was the writing from, and she mentioned Juliana, and this album. Wondering how would it sound, after quite some time to find it, I discovered .. I liked it ... :) I was even addicted for some time.
Why ? It's fun, most of the times, with a touch of serious on it ... It's about love and hate, and how they are, in a way so close (especially "My sister"). It's ironic at times (Supermodel ...), and it has these really strange mix of sound in a way ... Together with Bed, it is for me the best album by Juliana Hatfield :)
More "mature" than "Hey Babe" (even if "heavier" on the ear) and more substancial than "Only everything"... at least for me ! :)
Not to be missed ... especially if you happen to like Juliana's work :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i think i'm addicted. . . 22 Nov 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
if any album was the soundtrack to my life, this would be it. some how it just has a sound and subject that fits what i'm often feeling and thinking. this album is what i listen to when i need comfort, and when i'm happy. if everyone has given it five stars, how can it be bad? it's julianas best ever solo, maybe one of the best records ever. . .everything from supermodels and sisters, to baby birds, spin the bottle, insanity, revenge and independance. . .
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three's company 6 July 2004
Format:Audio CD
In 1993, Hatfield's friend and former bandmate, Lemonhead Evan Dando, was flopping about at festivals, wearing dresses and being the NME's darling, and jangly American indie guitar rock was in. And Hatfield was really the only female in her field, so she really shouldn't have found it so hard to break through in the UK at a time when Throwing Muses and Belly were having top 10 albums.
Unfortunately, the press was a little too preoccupied with Hatfield's proclaimed virginity and relationship with Dando to give the music a proper listen. Shame, because Become What You Are - recorded as the Juliana Hatfield Three with bassist Dean Fisher and drummer Todd Phillips - is a simple and brilliant record that she's yet to match.
Much has been made of Hatfield rarely going beyond the lines of her stock template. Granted, a cursory or superficial listen to Become What You Are could leave you thinking one song sounds much like another, but the unfussy formula works well enough to warrant many repeated listens. And no song outstays its welcome. Lyrically, she's at her strongest on this set: confessional, witty and on the right side of obscure.
The opening track, Supermodel, is a catty dig at the transitory careers of overpaid catwalk stars ("the highest paid piece of ass, you know it's not gonna last...), while the girly Hatfield is at play on My Sister, describing the love/hate relationship with a fictional sibling ("I would do anything to let her know I care, but I am only talking to myself cos she isn't there"). Her wry lyrics are matched at every corner with strong hooks and basslines.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hey Britney, THIS is talent! 19 Sep 2001
By "vinylgirl" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Juliana Hatfield is a true talent in an age where all too many female singers are nothing but seemingly soulless, talentless beautiful shells. She has enough true emotion and grit in her songs to take on a hundred phony Christinas or Britneys - so it always makes me sad to go to a used CD store and see 5 or 6 copies of both `Become' and `Only Everything' on the shelf. What are these people missing? What's not to love?
If you're looking for true female talent and emotion, this CD is a fantastic starting point. As a huge fan of Juliana's work, both on her own and as part of the magnificent Blake Babies, this remains my favourite of her albums. I'm sure it has a lot to do with where I was in my life when I first discovered this album - a bored, daydreaming, moderately small-town high school girl, feeling unsure of myself, my surroundings, my future, as so many high school students do. "Feelin' Massachusetts" was my ultimate theme song for a good long while - I identified with it more than I did with any other song at the time. It addressed my longing for something new and interesting, my desperately wanting something "more."
Then came the other songs - each of which hit me with the force of a thousand lighting bolts. "My Sister" resonated each time I had another fight with my older brother (before we "grew out of it", of course.) "Spin the Bottle" was a reminder of every crush I endured, most of which now make me cringe. The entire album, from start to finish, seemed to emulate my life.
Years later, as a happily involved, employed 24-year-old living in the "big city", I still pull this album out and find something to relate to. Even if it's not painful crushes, small town blues or fights with my brother, there's always a time where I need music I can relate to. This album is always one of the first I pull out of my collection. And even if I'm feeling good about everything, I can still vividly recall the days when these songs made me feel that Juliana was reading my mind.
If you're looking for whiny love-gone-wrong songs, bad drum-machine beats or fancy choreography, go look up Britney Spears. But if you're looking for a strong, honest, vulnerable album - you've come to the right place.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Juliana Hatfield's breakthrough is uneven, but charming. 28 May 2000
By D. Mok - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
As a recording artist Juliana Hatfield is a bundle of contradictions. Her guitar-playing gravitates towards the grungy garage-pop variety, but her singing is pure sweetness, all girlish and eager; she says women are naturally inferior guitarists to men, yet she writes some wonderful guitar parts and is underrated as an acoustic player; she's written some fantastic songs, yet often on the same album where these gems appear, there are also moments of bewildering weakness.
Become What You Are is as filled with polarizations as Hatfield herself. On one hand it contains a slew of strong songs -- breakthrough hit "My Sister", its intro being hands-down Hatfield's best guitar performance and its vocal melodies twistily engaging; "Spin the Bottle", a successful evocation of the giddiness of an attraction, a party, a romantic game between a playful couple; and "For the Birds" has some gorgeously written lines ("...Tried to wake her up/She wants to sleep...") and a remarkable chorus that should stay in your head for days.
And then some other moments are surprisingly clunky. When Hatfield tries too hard to rock out, she often falls into Nirvana-esque repetition and stops paying attention to the words she writes. "This Is the Sound" and "I Got No Idols" are absolutely hookless, dull repetitions of clumsily written lyrics and a boring melody, and "Dame with a Rod" and "Supermodel" don't really utilize her girlish, chirpy vocals well. Though Hatfield can come up with some great fuzztone-guitar riffs, without nuances to support them, her vocal technique sounds incongruous to the churning electric guitars.
Still, this is a staple album in '90s alternative music. Hatfield's most consistent work is on her next one, the solo (bassist Dean Fisher contributes), Only Everything.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greats in '90s alternative. 25 July 2005
By Michael Stack - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Conventional wisdom states that the followup to an artist's debut is lacking when compared to the debut. Usually, that first album consists of songs they've been working on for years, whereas the followup is thrown together in a hurry. Of course, this isn't always the case, particularly with artists emerging from bands.

Case in point: Juliana Hatfield's "Become What You Are".

Performing with a trio of bassist Dean Fisher and drummer Todd Phillips, with herself handling the guitar duties, Hatfield's sophomore effor does something her debut did not. It lets go of the Blake Babies legacy. Sonically, its as indebted to the Pixies as the jangly pop of the Blake Babies-- loud, in-your-face, overdriven guitars and slicing basslines over which Hatfield confidently delivers her lyrics, giving her voice a resonance it lacked on "Hey Babe". But more to the point, it began the legitimization of Juliana Hatfield as a guitar hero-- it seems so long ago, but in 1994, women didn't appear in guitar magazines as anything more than a novelty, but Hatfield was too good to be denied.

This is apparent right from the start, opener "Supermodel" is a slab of punky alternative with a fantastic vocal and clever songwriting. In fact its pretty much this that makes the album what it is, moving from semi-environmentalist jangle pop ("For the Birds") to venomous meditations on homelessness and mental illness-- which in Hatfield's native Boston often go hand-in-hand (moody rumination and album standout "Mabel") to popularity contests (goofy pop song "Spin the Bottle") to Henry Rollins and over sexuality (breezy pop turned heavy alternative monster "President Garfield"). Along the way, there's a dark hit song ("My Sister"), a punk song about gun-toting women ("A Dame With a Rod", which features one of Hatfield's best early guitar solos and a moody closer ("I Got No Idols"). What's fairly incredible is the stunning level of quality on the album-- there's no filler, no stuff clearly pushed by the record company, just all really good material.

This album is really essential listening for any alternative fans, its one of the best of the genre and as many of her peers have received mainstream recognition, Hatfield remains unfairly in a cult status, and its downright depressing that this is out of print. Highly recommended.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Play me some music that lifts me to my feet" 25 April 2004
By mwreview - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Become What You Are came out during my first year of junior college and it was one of my favorite CDs at the time. I think my mom got sick of me playing it over and over. Listening to it 11 years later, I figured I had outgrown the music. No way! It still sounds great! From pop sensations like "My Sister" and "Spin the Bottle" to rockers like "A Dame with a Rod" and "I Got No Idols" to slower tracks like "For the Birds" and "Mabel" it is a fun album from beginning to end. The lyrics are sophomoric at times, but the music is so catchy, you don't notice them and end up singing along to silly lines like "I want his power inside of me. And I'm not talking about a piece of meat, I'm saying something really deep." Every song here is great but "Mabel" is my favorite. The lyrics are actually intriguing on this track ("Check out that lady she's talking to herself, check out that lady, she's gonna go to hell") and it starts out with a slow, almost haunting sound and then rocks out at the end. "President Garfield" is also an interesting track although the lyrics become very weird at the end. Fun sidenote: "My Sister" gives reference to the Violent Femmes and the Del Fuegos, "before they had a record out. before they went gold." Become What You Are is a very enjoyable album and I recommend it to anyone who likes "alternative" rock.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't believe this is out of print 28 April 2004
By C. Green - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This was Juliana Hatfield's best and most popular CD, and it included her breakout hit "My Sister". She was one of the trailblazers in "bubblegum grunge", making the combination of "girl"-ish, innocent vocals and driving Nirvana-era grunge guitar really work. I rediscovered this CD in my collection just the other day and popped it into the dash, and to my pleasant surprise it sounds just as good now as it did 11 years ago. I highly recommend this one, if you can find it.
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