Olivia, Rough (Music Thoughts: Juliana Hatfield sings Olivia Newton-John, Juliana Hatfield)

71cxqpESKqL._SX522_Juliana Hatfield and her music will always remind me of the 90s. I remember her music along with my memories of that era.  I guess it should not come as a surprise that Olivia Newton John influenced her music, although I don’t really see it sonically – I think Newton John’s spirit was more influential for her. And here we are at 2018 and Hatfield has recorded an album dedicated (hopelessly dedicated?) to Olivia Newton John.

I think it’s great. Hatfield stays true to her indie folk sound that made her famous. There are times I think it sounds dated, but for sure that is just a projection of my memories with this particular sound. It’s amazing how most of these songs work in these context – it’s a tribute that doesn’t get lost in karaoke. The syrupy sweetness of ‘I Honestly Love You’ with the electric guitar gives it a certain kind of honesty – it won’t be lost in the soundtrack of a young rom com, or ‘Reality Bites.’ (That last point was a joke – I think ) Even Xanadu is laid out with a lot less cheese, and ‘Please Mister Please’ has never sounded more urgent. I love this album as I really thought I was listening to all new songs by Hatfield. I think Olivia will be good with this.

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