After making more unusual records such as a political one in 2017’s Pussycat (QRO review) and another covering Olivia Newton-John, nineties alt-star Juliana Hatfield returned to more familiar ground on 2019’s nice-if-not-more-than-nice Weird (QRO review). Now, after another covers album (this time of The Police), she brings more alt-diversity to Blood.
Hatfield has been able to deliver both sweet songs and rockers since her days in The Juliana Hatfield Three, and it shows on Blood. The lovely emotion and ways of “Mouthful of Blood” is beautiful, even as it’s about being forced to keep your opinions to yourself. Yet there’s also the killer Hatfield-style kiss-off in “Chunks”, and sly nineties alt on today’s music industry in “Suck It Up”. Hatfield definitely has mastered doing upbeat songs with unhappy lyrics; there’s also the catchy ditty about awful life with “Nightmary”, and the cheery rocker about killing, “Had a Dream”.
Juliana Hatfield’s output has also been impressive, with other relatively recent outputs including a new Juliana Hatfield Three record (QRO review) and teaming up with eighties icon Paul Westerberg (QRO review). Blood has that width & breadth in one album.