Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fifty States: Massachusetts

Juliana Hatfield Three: Feeling Massachusetts

[purchase]









Back in 1993 Juliana Hatfield and Tanya Donnelly (un)intentionally released albums at the same time. While Tanya stuck to more obscure themes, Juliana decided to wear it on her sleeve. Despite that I have had some monumental moments in Plymouth Rock state (first kiss, free beer via truck wreck, swimming in March) there is no denying that the place is dismal (snowing in May, cold, St. Pauli girl beer of choice circa '89). Hatfield relished in her misery which she descriptively documents in this song. Feeling bad? Blame the locale. In retrospect "Supermodel" exemplifies denial, "Spin the Bottle" channels into that virginity myth she tried to float, and "My Sister" a jealousy that only a sibling could understand. However, this subtle "knife in the back" to her adopted state (she's from Maine (now there is a state steeped in misery)) tells you a lot about Hatfield in the early 90s-- a pretty chick, a mean streak, and an extreme desire to treat you like shit. She could be dumped into the best situation possible (person, place, and time) and she would find a way to wreck it. Essentially feeling Massachusetts is just a way to describe who she was at the time and pining a geographical location to clue everyone in on the misery. The genius in this song though is that she disguises it in some wistful vocals and a very catchy pop song. She likely had all those great moments (and more) that I had, but instead of remembering the good -- she makes the Massachusetts "state of mind" very bad.

3 comments:

BWR said...
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boyhowdy said...

Bee Gees: Massachusetts. Because I was totally going to link to many Bee Gees covers, and really, it's one of their better songs, less disco and surprisingly decent pop.

Rinjo Njori said...

Before they were Stayin Alive and raking in the dough they put out some great pop music in the late 60s and early 70s.