Not to be overlooked, among the best of Hatfield's work.
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 07/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1997, Juliana Hatfield accomplished something that few musicians manage-- she broke with a major record label while she was under contract. The label in question (Atlantic) refused to release what she considers her masterwork (the as-yet unreleased "God's Foot"), and after an extraordinary struggle, Hatfield found herself labeless and curiously enough, decided to retreat back in the studio. The result is this EP, "Please Do Not Disturb".
Largely a bitter affair, it's pretty clear that Hatfield had a rough time losing the rights to her own creation. Many of the songs are filled with a venom rarely found in her music before, from the brilliantly sarcastic (although according to Hatfield, cautionary, not auto-biographical) "Sellout" (featuring a brilliant guitar line and fantastically confident delivery from Hatfield) to the tight derision of "As If Your Life Depended On It" to a couple pieces that serve as slabs of anger-- the punkish "Give Me Some of That" and the absolutely stunning "Get Off". Evidentally, originally about a journalist, "Get Off" is churning, dark piece exploring texture and sound as much as anything else as layers of guitars and vocals rise and fall.
And yet through all of this, its the one real break in mood-- the delicate acoustic ballad "Trying Not To Think About It", that is the standout on the record. Written about the death of Jeff Buckley, Hatfield's understated piece really captures a beautiful and wistful melancholy. It's interesting to note that she claims to rarely write about her own life (indeed, relative hit "My Sister" was composed by Hatfield who, in fact, does not have a sister), such a personal reflection is quite unique and it may be the best ballad she's ever written.
Hatfield's albums in the late '90s are largely plagued with inconsistency. This EP is quite the opposite, and it certainly stands among the best material she's ever recorded. Highly recommended."
Strong beginning, middle, and end.
Paul Jensen | 03/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Please Do Not Disturb shows a more mature and very gifted Juliana Hatfield. Vocals, guitars, lyrics, everything here is top-notch. The songwriting remains focused throughout the cd, and is more diverse than Only Everything, and not as ambitious as Bed (which is a good thing) This makes an excellent introduction to Juliana's work - and has thus far proved to be one of her very best efforts."