Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Blake Babies

  • Sunburn [Mammoth, 1990] A-
  • Rosy Jack World [Mammoth, 1991] Dud
  • Innocence and Experience [Mammoth, 1993] A-
  • God Bless the Blake Babies [Zoë, 2000] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Sunburn [Mammoth, 1990]
Sure this trio has its own sound, kind of--jagged, perky, sprung. And more important, songs. But so many indie bands have sound and songs that they flop or fly on content anyway, and here content means Juliana Hatfield. For their varying gender-based reasons, some men and some women find her too cute, but I say she's a former girl who's willing to be winsome and has her gender-based beefs regardless, e.g. "I'm not your mother." Later, probably with a different guy, she pops the big question: "If I called on you from far away/Would you say the things I want you to say?" I would, Juliana, I would, whisper a million (or anyway a couple thousand) lonely fellows. But when it came down to cases they probably wouldn't. A-

Rosy Jack World [Mammoth, 1991] Dud

Innocence and Experience [Mammoth, 1993]
Who would have figured that the quintessential indie babe would make something of one of those preband-, demo-, live-, and 45-strewn overview comps where other slackers hide their dirty laundry? She's actually impressive covering, duh, a Neil Young song--and, oh wow, a GrassRoots trifle that hit before she was out of diapers. Thank punk and the Berklee Music School she isn't the folkie she would have been in an earlier counterculture. Cutting her upper-middle-class enunciation with open-tuned pitch, strange chords she can just barely play, and enough guitar noise to get the circulation going, she earns the right to steal her namesake's title. But remember, Julia: "Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained." A-

God Bless the Blake Babies [Zoë, 2000] Dud