Deborah Frost
August 06, 1993 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Become What You Are

Current Status
In Season
Juliana Hatfield
Atlantic, Mammoth

We gave it an A-

Call it the asexual revolution. Now that MTV symbols like Madonna have shown us everything we didn’t want to know about sex, indie rock vet Juliana Hatfield, 26, has assumed the one really radical position left. Her shtick is not about being like a virgin, but literally being one. Her second solo album, Become What You Are, prickles with tension-sans-relief masterpieces that testify there’s no such thing as just saying no. Pummeling the craftiest grunge guitar east of the Rockies, Hatfield turns pop’s love and narrative conventions upside down, from the disappointment of ”President Garfield,” a thinly veiled dig at her former punk idol Henry Rollins, to the ambivalence of ”Spin the Bottle,” in which she ponders the consequences of spending five minutes alone with an actor who’s ”in really stupid movies — it’s not his fault.” There are also startlingly infectious encounters with anorexia (”Addicted”) and anger (”A Dame With a Rod”). Despite Hatfield’s somewhat one-dimensionally precious vocals, this is one dame who, with or without a rod, deserves a bullet. A-

You May Like