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.