Album: Hole, Nobody's Daughter (Mercury)
The riffs, the roar, the rants: must be another Hole record
Sunday 02 May 2010
When tracks from Nobody's Daughter first leaked online about a year ago, there was, as yet, no suggestion that it would be a Hole record.
Indeed, there's a strong case to be made – not least from the perspectives of shunned Hole alumni Eric Erlandson and Melissa Auf der Maur – that it shouldn't be credited as such, being essentially a record by Courtney Love, right, with some help from a refugee from Larrikin Love and a few celebrity mates.
And yet, ironically, a new Hole album is precisely what Nobody's Daughter sounds like: more of the same, the ideal gift for people who've squeezed every drop of Hole-ness from the first three and crave another fix.
The opener and title track features a couplet, early on, that goes "I'm not stupid/ I just need a lot of help to understand how stupid you really are", setting a pattern for the whole record: Courtney snarling at unnamed adversaries with the same paranoid fury exhibited on her Twitter rants. You already know exactly what a Hole song called "Skinny Little Bitch" is gonna sound like: full of threats such as "I could kick your scrawny ass". (OK, we get it, you're a rock'n'roll survivor and you don't suffer fools.)
"Pacific Coast Highway" is a simple retread of "Malibu" from Celebrity Skin (Californian landmark for a title, Fleetwood Mac for a template, Billy Corgan for a collaborator), and is one of a scattering of mellow moments.
Of the previously leaked material, "Samantha" about a prostitute who's "wrapped her legs around this world", is maybe the most familiar, with its "people like you fuck people like me" refrain. Tellingly, it's co-written by Linda Perry. You expect to see Perry's hands all over albums by Pink and Gwen, but not a supposed icon of female autonomy such as Love.
Perry also pens the album's low point, "Letter to God". It's always depressing when a burnt-out star gets Celebrity Religion (more chic and boutique-bought than normal religion) and Courtney's off-the-peg choice is Buddhism. "Loser Dust", at least, rocks a little. So does "How Dirty Girls Get Clean" (another Perry composition). Proving that, at the very least, Courtney's still got the roar and the riffs. Beyond that, she's running on empty.
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