"During that brief time period (circa 1989-1991) when so-called "alternative rock" was on the rise, but Nirvana had not yet ushered in the grunge era, guitar oriented pop bands like The Blake Babies, The Posies and The Sundays seemed to be the future of rock music. Alas, it was not to be, but "Sunburn is one of the best albums from that brief era. It features what is easilly the Babies best song, "Out There," as well as other sweet but tart relationship tunes like "I'm Not Your Mother," "Look Away" and "I'll Take Anything." Lead singer Juliana Hatfield's little girl voice is alluring and the songwriting has plenty of hooks. The band was also capable of a sharp lyrical bite, such as on the catchy but nasty tune "Girl in a Box," featuring lead vocals by guitarist John Strohm.Overall, a decent period album that transcends the era in which it was recorded."
A Bunch Of Fun Listening
corbyred | West Lake Hill | 02/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm so surprised not to see more reviews in praise of this almost perfect Blake record. It would be quite deserved. If you're in doubt about getting this one, don't be. In fact you will be glad you bought it. One great song after another. It was a nice surprise not to find anything boring in between tracks. Mrs. Hatfield, John, and Freda really had it together on this one. I would highly recommend this. 'God Bless The Blake Babies' would also be another worthy addition to a collection. I still think 'Sunburn' sounds good a decade later."
The Blake Babies finally hit their stride.
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 09/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having produced a pair of albums of great alt-pop music, the Blake Babies seemed ready to conquer the world with "Sunburn". The problem was, no one was listening.
A Boston-based trio consisting of bassist/vocalist Juliana Hatfield, guitarist/vocalist John Strohm and drummer Freda Boner, the Blake Babies were finally hitting their stride with "Sunburn"-- their trademark edgy jangle pop with crisp, clear basslines, punky undertones, and biting lyrics, was finally honed into a respectable sound. There's not a whole lot of bad cuts on "Sunburn"-- in fact, the whole album is pretty good, and it seems the band was on the cusp of a great album. Strohm's guitar playing has reached extraordinary levels and Hatfield's vocal finally gained a confidence it sorely needed (one it would lose on her first attempt at a solo album shortly after this record).
So the result-- the album moves from great song to great song-- the superb "I'm Not Your Mother" opens, with forceful vocals and superb distorted guitar leads and moves quickly between crunchy guitar numbers (standout "Star"), melodic two-part vocal songs ("Train") and jangly pop music (I'll Take Anything"). Most of the somewhat subpar pieces are resurrected by some feature ("Girl in a Box" is kind of blah but features such totally bizarre lyrics, it manages to survive, for example).
Something stops me from thinking of it as a masterpiece, but certainly "Sunburn" is a great record. Highly recommended."
Those were the days.
H3@+h | VT | 09/16/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of those simple alt/rock records that came out when alt/rock was still "alternative". Nothing earth-shattering, just cool kids making good happy music. Fans of Juliana will find this similar to her solo debut "Hey Babe". Other "Blake Babies" albums are good, but I like this one most. Of course Juliana has numerous great albums out too, including a "best of". This would go great next to your "Lemonheads" and "Pixies" cd's."