Juliana Hatfield Sings The Police
American Laundromat Records
I think that to do an album completely devoted to another artist, you really have to be able to bring something fresh to the table, something that allows the audience to reconnect to the original, or to rediscover it. In her earlier cover of Olivia Newton John’s Physical,Juliana Hatfield did exactly that, producing a version I preferred to the original. I was a little more unsure here.
Never a real Police fan in my youth, I admire the band a whole lot more as an adult. They had a very distinctive sound that had their signature all over it. Fresh from her recent musical angst against Trump, Hatfield (a songwriter herself) brings her stamp to the Police, that (on the whole) works well without ever really exciting.
The album is off to a great start with “Canary in a Coalmine” which is a real tour de force. Hatfield is both musically and vocally talented and her love of the material is clear. Exploring some of the lesser-known Police catalogue does connect the listener to the music, and makes the music her own. Where the original is so iconic, as in “Roxanne” or “Every Breath You Take”, I felt there was less room for her to take a risk, and there was almost a need to take a leap in a new direction, but she stayed honest to the original.
As an album, it shows a love and respect for the original material, and was clearly something Hatfield enjoyed doing. If you are a fan of The Police, I’d say you should get hold of a copy, as you will enjoy with a drink on a cold winter’s night!
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: JULIANA HATFIELD – JULIANA HATFIELD SINGS THE POLICE