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Juliana Hatfield

Coupled with the stifling heat inside the Roxy, the molten flow of Hatfield's set seemed heavier than it actually was.

Coupled with the stifling heat inside the Roxy, the molten flow of Hatfield’s set seemed heavier than it actually was.

Even the bright and perky “For the Birds” and a revved-up “My Sister”– the transitional tunes that should have eased the band from Crazy-Horse-plays-“Wild Thing” territory to the witty land of “Supermodel”– failed to lighten the mood in the packed club. Trouble was compounded by a muddy sound system.

Only “Universal Heartbeat,” with its mantra chorus of “a heart that hurts is a heart that works,” shone, heightening the disc version’s visceral appeal.

Hatfield’s discs work because of their “boy-girl, boy-girl” approach in the sequencing of her soft and hard material.

Clearly a child of arrangement, finding freshness in songs by altering instrumentation and tempo, Hatfield may soon find the sectioned-off approach she used for 75 minutes Thursday doesn’t work that well.

Juliana Hatfield

(Roxy; 400 capacity: $ 15)

Production: Presented by Goldenvoice. Band: Hatfield, Dean Fischer, Lisa Mednick, Ed Flanker, Todd Philips. Reviewed June 22 , 1995. There's a compelling mystery to the little girl voice of Juliana Hatfield as it fights to rise above the big boy guitars defining half her repertoire. The other half -- bright pop songs that could do Chrissie Hynde proud -- make her so likable that the sludge is either forgiven, accepted or dived into for a dose of tough reality. The balance is so precarious that the slightest miscalculation is tough to remedy, as she may well have found out Thursday. Hatfield divided her show almost evenly between material from her debut Mammoth/Atlantic debut "Become What You Are" and the recent followup "Only Everything," piling the heavy stuff up front and back-ending the more melodic pieces.

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