Juliana Hatfield: Juliana Hatfield Sings The Police (American Laundromat) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Sunday, December 8th, 2019  

Juliana Hatfield

Juliana Hatfield Sings The Police

American Laundromat

Nov 18, 2019 Issue #66 - My Favorite Album - Angel Olsen and Sleater-Kinney Bookmark and Share


Juliana Hatfield's second installment in the covers project she began with last year's Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John finds her covering The Police. And quite simply, in 12 songs, Hatfield proves here what she suggested covering Newton-John, that she is one of the rarest of artists who is able to both revere and transcend the original compositions. And here, she plays the perfect homage, walking the line between reinterpretation and faithfulness with deftness, poise, and grace.

When she plays it relatively straight, such as in the über-catchy "Can't Stand Losing You" or radio-friendly anthem "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da," it's a pleasure to hear Hatfield lend her vocal and instrumental talents (she played everything on the album except for some bass and drums on selected tracks) to songs that are so familiar.

Conversely, when she takes liberties, the results are mesmerizing. "Next to You" is slowed down, rendered with sludgy guitars on the verse and sweet vocals on the chorus. A furious "Murder By Numbers" strips The Police's reggae for Hatfield's punk. And a vicious reworking of "Roxanne" takes a song this particular reviewer would have been happy to never hear again, and turns it into a completely new composition, to say nothing of the gender switch that recasts the song in a new feminist aura.

Ultimately, Juliana Hatfield Sings The Police distills all that's great about Hatfield—the innocence of her earliest recordings, the spreading her instrumental wings after The Juliana Hatfield Three's Become What You Are, the singer/songwriter touch of her mid-period, and a certain devil may care attitude—and presents it in the context of an artist reinventing herself, and these songs, for all to see. (www.julianahatfield.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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