Monday, March 26, 2012

Juliana Hatfield Three - Become What You Are (1993)

Feminist Power Pop Rock from the 90's!

Juliana Hatfield Three’s 1993 album "Become What You Are" falls into the Alternative Nation / 120 Minutes marketing category (tip #1 to media empires: know your target audience) of the 90’s era. The style is "alternative power pop rock," or pop music with more of the belligerence and hard edge of rock, to which Hatfield adds her own take. The result is a lot like PJ Harvey & KD Lang - a woman vocalist/ musician who takes on the trappings of traditionally male-dominated rock music, and subverts them, exposing personal frailties using riffs and poses usually used to blow up imagined strengths.

Songs like the hit "Spin the Bottle" and "My Sister" are like glimpses into the private life of a unsettled young woman for whom every day is simply a struggle to survive on her own terms and to be acknowledged for herself. Respect as an individual is as important to Hatfield it seems. as songs like "Supermodel" and "A Dame With a Rod" attest - the message being that this is not just another pretty face, so you had damn well better not try to treat her like one, and it’d be a pretty good idea if you didn’t treat any woman like one, and an even better idea if every woman was willing to stand up for the respect she deserved. The very title of the album, “Become What You Are” is a call to action: recognize your self-worth, Hatfield says, and don’t let anything stop you from realizing your potential.

At the same time, she doesn’t lie and say that this is easy, but shows the personal demons against which she fights to become what she is. I don’t know what the "official" riot grrl take is on Hatfield -- whether she might be too pop or not -- but it seems to me like her record is right in line with their street-level feminist agenda, and perhaps even more accessible on a musical level. Hatfield’s voice is still a bit rough, but it works -- this isn’t meant to be polished pop, after all, and with the instrumentation around her voice, you hardly notice the minor flaws. This was probably one of the better records of the 1993 summer and strongly recommended.

Free Mp3 Download - 64.82 MB Single Zipped Folder – SendSpace Link

THIS IS A NON-COMMERCIAL FAN MIXTAPE. IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU HEAR, PLEASE BUY THE ARTISTS ORIGINAL MUSIC. You can buy original CDS/DVDs & Mp3s at Emusic, Amazon, Itunes, other online stores or your nearest music retailer. Juliana Hatfield's official website is here!


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