Juliana Hatfield Three / Juliana Hatfield

Become What You Are

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Although she desperately tries to hide behind a grungier guitar sound, Hatfield is still a talented practitioner of girlish power pop. Because she tries so hard to put the innocent pleasures of her debut behind her, Become What You Are isn't as satisfying. Most of the loud rave-ups betray her true gifts with a melody, which most definitely has not disappeared; her hooks are so strong that she can bring over such cringe-inducing lyrics as those of "For the Birds" and "Mabel" rather effortlessly. Hatfield's strongest points are apparent on "Supermodel," "My Sister," and "Spin the Bottle" -- catchy, honest, and incisive portraits of adolescence, rendered truthful by her girlish, singsong vocals. Fortunately, her talents are strong enough to carry the album over the weak spots.

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