When I say loving, I don't mean cuddles. Juliana Hatfield wants to get down and dirty on her new album. Her charged indie guitars are the soundtrack to her sexual desires. It's really made clear that Juliana Hatfield wants loving in Pussycat.
She doesn't want just any intimate loving, though. She only wants the right type of fun. It might not be exactly clear that this is her motive until about halfway in the record, when 'Short-Fingered Man' comes along. It becomes painfully obvious what she's looking for in this track, the lines "Short-fingered man can't get her off" introduce the track. If you thought that was good, things go from zero to 100 when 'Sex Machine' kicks on up. The crunchy guitar riff backs Hatfield's proclamation that she's "gonna build you a sex machine to satisfy everything you need." She even goes explains how to use it: "put your hands on the sex machine / put your lips on the sex machine / put your dick in the sex machine."
That should be about enough to sum up the album. For what it is worth, Hatfield doesn't let up on her sound. She keeps her reverberating, twangy guitars strong, and the timbre of her voice still has its signature raspiness to it. The indie rock sound that gave her her claim to fame is all still with her, and it definitely shows through. Songs like 'Rhinoceros' with its punchy, rolling riffs and the distorted displacency of closing track 'Everything Is Forgiven' really sounds like her in her prime.
The thing about Pussycat is that it just feels wrong for her. It's not the fact that it's meaning is so out there, but the fact that it's her sound unchanged in the context of the theme. There's a big disconnect in her normally relatable and raw sound and the sentiments expressed in Pussycat. It just doesn't feel natural.
Juliana Hatfield wants loving in Pussycat and it really sounds off. There's nothing wrong with lust, but with her sound, it just doesn't sound right. Everything is there but the message, making her sound a bit contrived. Let's hope this is just a minor falter for her.
Favorite Track: Everything Is Forgiven
Least Favorite Tracks: Sex Machine, Short-Fingered Man
Rating: 65 / 100
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