Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John is released today by American Laundromat Records. It's available on the major streaming / download sites, and on cd, cassette and vinyl direct form the label.
It seems that most of us who pre-ordered have had the album for the last week or two.
I agree with what seems to be a universal consensus - it's a wonderful idea, superbly executed. It is the perfect way to follow Pussycat.
With thanks as ever to Carlos Lopez for many of the links that appear on these pages, here are some of the reviews:
Gina, Fools Rush In:
Hatfield says in her liner notes that she has always found Newton-John’s work inspiring and positive, and that completely virtuous stance shines through in her interpretations of it: there’s nothing cynical or kitschy in her choice of artist. Unlike the usual goofy ‘70s covers many bands choose, there’s absolutely no irony here: instead, Hatfield successfully injects her vision into ours, so that, at the end of the record, rather than dismissing her, we learn to have that same kind of faith in her too.
Chris Martin, Atlanta Auditory Association:
If I had not known this was an album of ONJ songs I would swear the rocking “Totally Hot” and “Make a Move On Me” were Hatfield originals. If you ever listen to Hatfield’s music, then you know disco is far from her sound, so I was curious as to how she would handle the tunes “Magic” and “Xanadu”. Staying true to the originals she nails both giving them a hint of the disco vibe while grounding them with perfectly placed guitars.
Jeff Gemill, The Old Grey Cat:
Aside from a sped-up “Dancin’ ‘Round and ‘Round,” the arrangements hew close to the originals, though the pop and pop-country overtones are replaced with the punky pop-rock embellishments that have long accented Juliana’s work. Electric guitars are often at the fore – even on the opener, “I Honestly Love You,” which is raw and real.
The epiphany: These songs are as much a reflection of Juliana’s soul as her own compositions. It’s “This Lonely Love” brought into the open for all to see and share.
aLfie vera mella, Cryptic Rock (5/5):
The 1980s and the 1990s may be both heralded as prolific and proficient ages of music in terms of outputs and stylistic diversity. Taking this into consideration, Hatfield’s homage to Newton-John is a completion of a circle. It is, therefore, a doubly worthy contribution to the 2010s own streak of musical greatness that is surely to be hailed in the decades to come. CrypticRock gives Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John 5 out of 5 stars.
Glenn Gamboa, Newsday (4.5/5):
With “Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John” (American Laundromat), Hatfield not only showcases the sturdiness of Newton-John’s undeniable catalog, which spans country, pop and rock, but by amping up the edges serves as a reminder of the barriers the Aussie singer broke through in the ’70s.
Christopher Long, Ink 19:
For longtime Newton-John admirers, the 14-track collection will take ya on a friendly-feeling trip down memory lane. However, it’s the non Newton-John fans – the young folks who weren’t around back in the old days, as well as Hatfield’s fervent followers, who will reap the greatest joy from this set, as it stands tall on its own, simply as a solid, new rock release.