Juliana Hatfield, Beautiful Creature (Zoe/Island): The Juliana Hatfield Three's Become What You Are, with the amazing "Supermodel" and 11 other cool songs I've listened to again and again, is still my favorite of Hatfield's albums. Beautiful Creature is a close second, though. In "Cool Rock Boy," a dark, grungy number that would have fit on Become What You Are, Hatfield sings: "Hey cool rock boy/ What will you take from me, cool rock boy?/ What will you leave me, cool rock boy?/ What will you take from me? Nothing and everything." If you weren't paying attention when "Choose Drugs" begins, you could think it was an upbeat folk-rocker. Listen to the lyrics, and you find that Hatfield is singing about an addict boyfriend who slipped away. "I say it's me or drugs/ You choose drugs," goes the mournful chorus, sadness blowing through the music like a cold wind. Is my infatuation with this album nostalgia for the grunge years, or just the natural response to something good — real good? — Michael Goldberg

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