Terra Incognita (The End)
by Iann Robinson
Juliette Lewis always makes me think “What if they gave rock, and nobody cared?” Ever since she stepped onto the music stage with The Licks, I’ve kept waiting for her to scream “Gotcha” and tell us all it was a joke. It’s kind of the same thing as Joaquin Phoenix becoming a rapper: It’s so bad you have to believe it’s performance art or your head will explode. When Lewis prattled on with her cat-being-raped-by-a-spiked-cock voice and stomped around the stage with the “Licks,” it was so disingenuous, so practiced, that it felt like a Saturday Night Live skit about a “rocker” chick.
Well, apparently Juliette lost The Licks and replaced them with a new band called The New Romanitques, though she doesn’t really credit them at all on her new awful record, Terra Incognita. This record tries so hard to be deep and rocking that it falls into silly almost instantly. The music is by-the-numbers rock with Lewis screeching around as if nobody told her what song she was singing, or she just didn’t care. With song titles like “Hard Lovin Woman” and lyrics like “The past is dead, the future is ours, it’s written in the stars,” I just stared at my CD player, waiting for the punch line.
I’m going to suppose that in her heart, Juliette Lewis really thinks she means all this, which makes the record that much more pathetic. I try to imagine her listening back to this album and thinking it kicked ass. That this was going to be her big return to rock. More what I picture is Janis Joplin rising from the grave and beating Lewis to death with a microphone stand. Please, Juliette, please give this up; you’re wasting precious space that a band with actual talent could be filling up.