A subtle twist on a classic
Juliana Hatfield has been making music for quite some time now, but on her newest release she takes many classics by Olivia Newton John and adds her own, unique touch. For most people, this may be off-putting, but the way Hatfield packages and presents the tracks on Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton John makes it easier to be open to this slight change.
Much like Olivia Newton John, Hatfield has a specific sound and feel to her vocals on the album that it automatically marks the album as her, even though she is covering songs. The album starts off with “I Honestly Love You” and does a good job of setting the stage for what’s to come on the rest of the album. Right off the bat, the slightly higher energy of Hatfield’s presentation of the songs can be felt, all while showcasing her lovely vocal style.
“A Little More Love” starts with an almost aggressive feel to the guitars featured on the track. That aggressiveness is dissipated fairly quickly with the airiness of Hatfield’s vocals when the chorus hits. There are so many pretty layers to this specific track that it’s easy to get lost in listening to it.
It wouldn’t be an Olivia Newton John cover album if the classic song “Physical” wasn’t featured. Yet again, Hatfield offers a more energetic feel to this track through the use more guitar work than the original version. The vocal style in this specific track somewhat stands out amongst the others on the album because it feels like it would fit more in an alternative rock setting, which makes for a refreshing sound in the album.
“Hopelessly Devoted To You” is another classic that stands out on this album because one might wonder how you cover such a staple song by Olivia Newton John. This originally slow ballad gets a makeover on this album as Hatfield turns it into an almost angsty, alternative ballad. Both versions are strong songs for their own reasons, but the important thing to note is that Hatfield presents it in a way that won’t disappoint.
Hatfield stays true to her unique take on all of Olivia Newton John’s classic tracks as Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton John comes to a close with “I Honestly Love You reprise.” While this album is entirely made up of covers, it is easy to categorize it as its own with Hatfield’s approach to each and every song.