Another selection of recent reviews for Whatever, My Love:
Whatever, My Love, despite its plainspoken lyrics and shrugging title, doesn’t ignore the complicated in favor of these simple pleasures. In fact, in acknowledging the darkness on “Push Pin” or “If I Could” or “Wood”, the Juliana Hatfield Three argues that simple pleasures might be the hardest to come by and the hardest one. That is the central tension of the record, and one that keeps things taut even when “Invisible” runs through the chorus a few too many times or when songs like “Now That I Have Found You” bury the best elements—the jagged guitar phrasings—under other, sleeker production.
Matthew Fiander, PopMatters
By marrying her wry, world-weary songs to the brighter, optimistic punch of the JHT, Hatfield winds up with a record that delivers a hard, immediate hit -- particularly on the cynical pop "Ordinary Guy" and grind of "If Only We Were Dogs" -- but leaves a lasting scar that's soothed by the melodies and that ringing, hooky pop that is often labeled as collegiate but now feels deeper and richer in the hands of rockers who never deny their impending middle age. In other words, it's the best kind of reunion because it's not only lacking in nostalgia, it shows that some things can be better the second time around.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic
Throughout her career, Hatfield's strongest work's emerged when she's clicked with her collaborators. She made magic with the Blake Babies. And she made magic with Fisher and Philips. So, for longtime fans, Whatever, My Love gives reason for optimism. And, of the album, Hatfield's said: "We haven’t totally reinvented the wheel or anything." Which is what you want to hear. She goes back to her earlier timeless sound, one that emerged from punk, and skips the saccharine singer-songwriter stuff.
Brandon Stosuy, Pitchfork
It more than stands on its own as a wry, uncompromising, unapologetically jangly take on living with the general discomfort that comes along with being a modern human. And it’s reassuring to hear that, 20 years on, Juliana Hatfield still has just as much bite as the dogs she’s been singing about.
Pete Chianca, Wicked Local
The jangle-rock numbers like “I’m Shy”, “Push Pin”, and put-a-smile-on-your-face “If Only We Were Dogs” particularly have catch, but there’s also some sweet sadness in songs such as “Invisible”, “If I Could”, and “I Don’t Know What To Do With My Hands”. There are some relatively not as good tracks – “Now That I Have Found You” is too simply cheery, while the processional rhythm behind “Woods” doesn’t work that well (and the guy described in “Ordinary Guy” seems pretty rare & hard to match…) – but it’s what you wanted from a revived Juliana Hatfield Three.
Ted Chase, QRO
There are one or two missteps, the stuttering tempo of Wood doesn’t really work and the lyrics for Ordinary Guy, I’m Shy and the busy Push Pin are a little hard to listen to coming from a woman in her forties (“oh I want an ordinary guy”, “if only we were dogs it would so easy to be happy”). Much better are the more relaxed, sparser tracks. I Don’t Know What To Do With My Hands has the light charm of late period Lemonheads, and moody closer Parking Lots succeeds by virtue of being a departure from the rest of the album, giving the keyboards prominence with a rather muted vocal from Hatfield.
Whatever, My Love has reminded me how much I enjoy Juliana Hatfield’s music. While her solo material and endeavors with other artists hold their own merit, there is something to be said about the chemistry between Hatfield, Phillips and Fisher. They have been able to step right back into the Juliana Hatfield Three as if they were never apart.
Chris Martin, Examiner
What could have been a tired rehash of past glories is actually quite the opposite. There are memorable moments and songs that last beyond their final note in your memory. When record this loops round on repeat, you are glad that it’s back again.
D R Pautsch, Soundblab