Friday, 8 May 2015

Art of the Cover - Juliana Hatfield's "Made In China" (2005)

if you want to pray for me, tell God to send me some money ...

Wonderful simple, yet impactful, artwork here on Made in China - the seventh album by Juliana Hatfield.

Sleeve design was by Mary Lynch.

Photography and illustration was by the multi-talented Juliana! And, indeed, the, erm ... torso model was herself also!

Yap, the selfie underboob was officially made an artform by Ms. Hatfield!

Ironically - or not - around the release of Made in China, Juliana Hatfield posted a gutsy, revealing letter on her website. In it she writes proudly of the album's ragged feel, of her role as producer, of having released it through her own Ye Olde imprint. But there's also a weird, rambling defensiveness to the note. "People can buy this record or not," she writes. "I don't care. Or at least I pretend not to care. But I do care."

More pertinently here, she goes on to condemn artistic greed, industrial pollution, and the pressure on female artists to market themselves sexually! ... Really!!

Then Hatfield goes and puts a nude photo of herself in a bathtub onto the front and back of the record sleeve!

And, of course, down the years, Juliana's album covers have been known for shots of the lovely lady herself in various stages of undress!

Well, that's so-called feminism in work, once again!

As to the music, Made in China is as honest and unadorned as the aforementioned letter. It unmasks her empty feelings on love (the slithery, dispassionate breakup song "On Video") and hate for a poisoned world ("Rats in the Attic," which musically is this record's closest amalgam to her past work), and in its strikingly direct recording quality it reacts to 2004's In Exile Deo, which despite being her strongest album in a long time was a little over-produced.

For all these things, Made in Chinais terrifically rewarding. It's raw -- like a home-recording genius blistering the dry wall with four-track recordings, the solo confessionals "A Doe and Two Fawns" and "Send Money" shatter silence with twining tones and sly lyrics.


1 New Waif 2:10
2 What Do I Care 2:39
3 Stay Awake 2:22
4 On Video 2:37
5 Hole In The Sky 2:54
6 Oh 3:44
7 My Pet Lion 2:49
8 Going Blonde 1:19
9 Rats In The Attic 3:14
10 Digital Penetration 4:31
11 A Doe And Two Fawns 4:00
12 Send Money 4:45

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