Beautiful Creature (2000)

Juliana Hatfield

  1. Daniel
  2. Close Your Eyes
  3. Choose Drugs
  4. Cool Rock Boy
  5. Don't Rush Me
  6. Slow Motion
  7. Might Be In Love
  8. Somebody Is Waiting For Me
  9. Until Tomorrow
  10. The Easy Way Out
  11. Hotels
  12. When You Loved Me
  13. Cry In The Dark

Japanese version only:
Every Breath You Take
When You Loved Me (US Mix)

Juliana’s easy listening album. Well no, not quite.

Conceived and written in Los Angeles in 1999, the letter accompanying the release would leave an impression that this would be Bed part 2. Far from it, and whilst the themes of alienation and loss are there as ever, there is a haunting beauty that runs through this largely acoustic album. “A bunch of demos” as Juliana would later describe it. Well what a bunch.

After the rawness of Bed, it was a pleasant surprise to hear the positivism of songs like Might Be In Love and Somebody Is Waiting For Me again.

Slow Motion has a theme of the outsider, making the beauty of the melody a moving experience.

Juliana’s voice on her solo records seems to have an added beauty. On some tracks on Beautiful Creature, the vocals are delivered and engineered so that they drift as if in a dream on songs like the gorgeous Choose Drugs, Slow Motion and Hotels (the latter bordering on Wicked Game era Chris Isaak).

The album closes with one of its strongest tunes, the emotional Cry In The Dark, where Juliana’s talent for simple, yet poignant lyrics is demonstrated at its best:

do you cry in the dark because it's easier to be alone than to talk?"
when the words aren't working and you don't know how to explain these thoughts? every look and every emotion has a deeper meaning everybody hurts nobody only when they're dreaming

As fine a collection of melody and lyrics as at any point in Juliana’s career. Beautiful indeed.

Other Reviews from Music Sites and Blogs:

"Melodic, wistful, whimsical, reflective, yet clever, the album showcases Hatfield at her peak, crafting fragile, endearing post-jangle pop songs that reveal themselves shyly and sweetly."

8/10

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic