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Hole - Nobody's Daughter

2010-06-24 08:27
Hole’s first album in (wait for it) twelve years, Nobody’s Daughter, seems at first listen similar in style to their 1998 Celebrity Skin album. It’s angry, yet ctachy at the same time with Courtney oozing that all too familiar I-don’t-give-a-crap attitude. And of course in true Love style this album is dedicated to “all the motherless children”, “the light” and to “the eternal clonthian fire” etcetera etcetera. Weird? Yes, because Google can’t even explain the word “clonthian”, and no, because it is after all Courtney, right?

With a second listen it becomes clear that Courtney has matured in some ways more than in others (she’s almost 46 years old!). She shows emotional maturity on “Pacific Coast Highway”, a song about Love’s former husband Kurt Cobain written in collaboration with Linda Perry (4 Non Blondes) and Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins),. It’s a relaxed rock tune that unveils raw, honest emotion from Love which is unusual for this depressed drama queen. “You just don’t love me and I just don’t care; I never said I would play fair” sums up Love’s take on reality about love and life on piano rock ballad “For Once In Your Life”.

Worried that Hole has lost the plot? Don’t be. More collaborations with Perry and former lover Corgan produces angry “Samantha” and scratchy whining tips on “How Dirty Girls Get Clean” should more than satisfy the die hard Hole fans out there. “Skinny Little Bitch” fits right in with her ‘celebrity skin’ persona and captures Courtney’s self-caricature at the height of its grating-screeching grunge howl, which honestly gets too much sometimes.

Nobody’s Daughter definitely lacks something. Whether it’s the brand new young band members backing Miss Love or simply not really trying anything particularly new after twelve years, I don’t know. What I do know is that this album is a bit of a grower, so whether you’re a Hole fan or not (and if you can get past Love’s voice) just keep listening and you’ll get it.
Whether it’s her rag-doll dress sense, her erratic public persona or legal controversies surrounding deceased husband Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love always manages to draw attention to herself. But maybe this time, she deserves a little.

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