Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I love the Juliana Hatfield album: How To Walk Away

I am on vacation, but it's a staycation. With the wedding and then Thanksgiving, I figured I'd just take the in-between days off. I just listened all the way through the new Juliana Hatfield CD "How To Walk Away" (released August, 2008.)
This album is so perfect that it prompted an immediate, somewhat bungled, blog post! The lyrics are honest and appeal to where I am at the moment. Maybe, the lyrics to track 5, "Just Lust" are too honest. That song is almost mean, but honesty can be cruel. "Remember November" should be experienced in November. "My Baby" is worded so carefully...
Just listen to this CD and perhaps it will speak to you, the single, the abandoned, the realists out there. I like the inclusion of Juliana's brother on piano. That lends credibility to Juliana's lyrics and the bravery of exposing her heart to her family. She's from New England, like me and my family, so she's a kindred spirit!

Here's some info I found on the release:
How To Walk Away, on Ye Olde Records, finds Hatfield singing in
top form. “Finally,” she says, “I feel like my voice has grown into
itself and I’m not struggling so much against its little-girl-ness.”
The album features guest appearances by two other distinctive
vocalists: Psychedelic Furs’ Richard Butler on “This Lonely Love”
and Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws on “Such A Beautiful Girl.” Other featured
guest musicians were Fountains Of Wayne guitarist Jody Porter (some
lead guitar); Jeff Hill, of Rufus Wainwright’s band, on bass; and Ethan
Eubanks of the Grey Race on drums. Tracy Bonham guested on violin, and
Jason Hatfield, Juliana’s brother, played piano on two songs, which he
co-wrote (“Remember November” and “Such A Beautiful Girl”).
How To Walk Away was recorded at Stratosphere Sound, the NYC studio
co-owned by Adam Schlesinger (Fountains Of Wayne), James Iha (formerly
of Smashing Pumpkins), and Andy Chase (of revered alt-rock/pop band Ivy),
who produced the album. How To Walk Away is evocative, layered, and
unhurried yet Chase has managed to retain Hatfield’s essential rawness
of spirit, smoothing out some rough edges but not all. Witness, for
example, the loose, danceable “Now I’m Gone,” sung (and played) by
Hatfield in one inspired improvisational take. And while she has
frequently drawn from personal experience in the past, these songs
are some of her most candid ever.


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