Juliana Hatfield: Sings the Police (American Laundromat)

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Murder by Numbers
Juliana Hatfield: Sings the Police (American Laundromat)
Here's a conversation starter or stopper: that given their diverse backgrounds in prog-rock, jazz and pop the Police were akin to the Cream -- another aggregation of trio talent -- of their period. Where Cream had blues and LSD the Police had reggae, a touch of dub and dope.

Discuss among yourselves.

The Police certainly sprung hits but they expanded the contract of post-punk pop into brooding songs, jazz influences, literate lyrics and more.

So a Police covers album is not unexpected, but perhaps a little surprising from Boston's Juliana Hatfield whom we might normally associate with a more alt view.

But last year she covered Olivia Newton-John songs so . . .

Here she neatly sidesteps many of the Police's hits (Can't Stand Losing You, Roxanne, Every Breath You Take and De Do Do Do are here among the 12 songs however) and by singing and playing just about everything herself she reconfigures and personalises the catalogue just enough to put her own stamp on things.

Roxanne with spare, crashing guitar chords is given a vibrantly desperate treatment, It's Alright For You is feisty Subterranean Homesick Blues/indie rocker, the ragged Murder by Numbers and angry Landlord are early Nineties alt.rock . . .

Not an essential album by any means but very much worth a listen for some deftly surprising home-recorded treatments.

Be interesting to hear her do Cream. Ho ho ho.

You can hear this on Spotify here


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