In 1991, Hole released it’s debut album “Pretty On The Inside.” I must admit, I was not a Courtney Love fan when this first came out. In fact, I stayed away from Hole simply because of the fact many people blamed her for Kurt Cobain’s downfall. This album features Courtney Love on lead vocals and guitar. She is joined by guitarist Eric Erlandson, bassist, Jill Emery and drummer Caroline Rue.
My wife actually introduced me to the band. In recent years, I forgot all about Hole and Courtney Love. Over this weekend, I figured “What the hell” let’s give it try. You know what? I actually enjoyed this record and for several reasons.
This album actually is rooted heavily in Punk music which fitted into with the Grunge movement nicely. Secondly, I hear lot’s of Hole’s influences such as Sonic Youth and Neil Young throughout the entire album. Thirdly, this album is closest thing to raw punk music that isn’t polished as many punk bands in the final stages of recording were at the time.
Courtney’s vocal style is raspy, raw, and very strong throughout the entire album. Although, she doesn’t have the range for the higher notes, her screams achieve that for her. There’s a lot of whispers and spoken word vocals on this album. All and all, Love’s vocal style is unique and is backed by emotional feel such as rage. Lyrically, she writes from a woman’s point of view. Themes deal with love, life and social issues of being a teenager or abandonment.
Musically, this album to me is their heaviest. There’s some influences of noise rock and punk that is heard throughout the album. Musicianship is great. Song structure is solid and yet has a certain choppiness and sloppiness to it that makes the album sound good. Although, there isn’t much lead guitar, there is a ton of heavy riffs throughout the album. The buzz guitars with heavy feedback give the album that Sonic Youth sound. It does have a certain degree of harmony and it has melody, but it is brutal.
All and all, this is a good album and I wish I would have not been biased with it’s release in 1991. Why it took me until 2016 to hear it, is beyond me. Would I recommend it? Yes…I would!
1 Teenage Whore 2:57
2 Babydoll 4:59
3 Garbadge Man 3:19
4 Sassy 1:43
5 Good Sister / Bad Sister 5:47
6 Mrs. Jones 5:25
7 Berry 2:46
8 Loaded 4:19
9 Starbelly 1:46
10 Pretty On The Inside / Clouds 5:25