Juliana Hatfield, 'Peace and Love' (Ye Olde)

6
Peace and Love
Critical Mass
Label: Ye Olde

by Peter S. Scholtes

Applying her forlorn high notes and ruthless lyrics about relationships to Sheryl Crow-ish pop on 2008's How to Walk Away, Hatfield loosed a smokier voice, with songs as catchy as her Blake Babies and mid-'90s solo peaks. Here, awash in bedroom multitracking, she's more diffuse: "Evan," for the Lemonhead, practically floats away. Yet the title track, "What Is Wrong," and the insinuating "Why Can't We Love Each Other" are affirmations turned narratives that are sharpened rather than softened by their harmonies, while the lovely instrumental "Unsung" suggests she might be a lyrical guitarist yet.

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