Some Girls

Crushing Love

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Though Some Girls' second album may be full of warm riffs reminiscent of Liz Phair, John Mellencamp, or Sheryl Crow, Crushing Love shouldn't be considered a cheerful record. The major chords played by fuzzy guitars and clean four/four rhythms from the drums really just act as a cover-up for the uncertainty and sadness that sits indiscreetly in the lyrics sung by Juliana Hatfield. It's a record of questions that doesn't try to come to conclusions. Rather, it chooses to explore basic human emotions and avoid definitive statements, leaving room for interpretation and pondering. But don't think that all this means that instead it's a slow, pensive album, either. The catchy pop hooks of the Blake Babies (and also of Some Girls) are still here, the electric guitar grins its way through riffs and progressions, and Hatfield's friendly, intimate voice acts as the guide through the album's 14 tracks. Crushing Love is that welcome combination of reflection and fun, made for people who know things might get bad, but aren't quite ready to give up just yet. It's inquisitive, not resigned ("Does God read the liner notes?/Does God watch the award shows?" Hatfield asks in the '70s-inspired "Rock or Pop"), and though there may be moments of sadness, there are just as many of strength. "Just Like That," which was written by an ex-boyfriend of the frontwoman, about her, is compelling in its simplicity and honesty, "Partner in Crime," with its "Sunny Came Home" intro, is sweetly plaintive, while "Kill the Bottle" speaks of an untraditional kind of support and acceptance. But perhaps it's the title song -- which, incidentally, was written by drummer Freda Love's husband, Jake Smith, and closes the album -- that truly conveys what Some Girls are trying to touch upon. "When bodies move in tandem/Life doesn't seem so random/...Magnetic fields, crushing love." It's about the dual nature -- the pain and the pleasure -- of love and companionship, and it's also about the heartbreak that can accompany it. And if that's not something that everyone's thought about, it's hard to say what is. [The album also contains a bonus DVD of excerpts from concert performances, as well as behind-the-scenes footage from Crushing Love recording sessions.]

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