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POP MUSIC REVIEW : Another Singer With Troubles on Her Mind

September 10, 1993|MIKE BOEHM

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Here's another repackaging proposal for Hollywood: "Gidget Gets Depressed," starring Juliana Hatfield.

College-rock's waif of the moment on the strength of her alternative chart hit "My Sister," she was as cute and fresh-faced as could be on Wednesday at the Coach House here.

Hatfield entered with a skip in her step, a cheery "hi" to the near-capacity crowd, and a waggle of her hips to kick in her two-man rhythm section. Within moments, she was smiling and hopping in place. So what if her opening song was called "Addicted," and had lines like "My body is a shell, a broken, empty shell"?

Hatfield's run as Gidget didn't last long, though. Any signs of perkiness subsided as the 26-year-old Bostonian got down to the business of telling her tales of post-adolescent confusion and lack of fulfillment.

The problem wasn't a shortage of catchy songs or an absence of muscle; it was that she failed to dramatize the characters in her songs, to give her show a story line. She was just another singer with a world of troubles on her mind, relating them through rock songs competently played, but not rendered with any special spark. If Hollywood is going to do that remake with her, she'll need some direction.

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