America’s Sweetheart: Courtney Love

Rating: 80%

cortlov.jpgAfter the break up of Hole, all eyes were on Courtney Love to see what she would do next. Her solo record many looked forward to, but it never came, until 2004. Many have compared this wait to that of Axle Rose with Guns n’ Roses and the ten year period until the release of “Chinese Democracy.” Then it came, and it sucked! Well, many people never gave this album a chance because the wait was so long and the music was basically the same as it was when Courtney Love was in Hole. What do you expect when Courtney Love is heavily influenced by Punk and Alternative music? Many said it this record was very sloppy. Come on, Punk music is a free form style. There’s nothing worse than a Punk album that has been polished. Well, I finally gave this album a listen and I actually liked it, despite some of it’s short comings. This album was a commercial failure both, nationally and word wide. But that could be of the trends with newer music coming out from both the Pop world.

Vocally, I think Love has improved much. Her vocals are more cleaner and clearer on this record than the first three Hole albums. Her vocals are more in tuned with the music. She has harmony which is clearly heard on “Sunset Strip.” She still retains the poetry and whispers that are spoken words on the verses. She also still retains that classic straight forward rage with her screams on the choruses. Lyrically, she is proving herself still as a composer and writer. This album deals with her normal logical ways of thinking from drugs, life, depression and social issues.

Musically, this album retains an unpolished feel that is gritty and full of punk and hard rock influences. It has a great many of tempo changes as many songs are heavy and other are much slower retaining that alternative feel to them. There are many riffs to this album that make it almost as hard are her debut record with Hole in 1991. “All of the Drugs” is a great example and even this song features a little bit of slide work. There is some leads on this album. However, other songs are more mellow and has that feel of Hole’s second album “Live Through This.” There’s some great musicianship on this album. The drums, guitars and bass all sound good.

Production wise, the album could have been better and Love will be the first to attest to this. But, I like the raw and unfinished sound to it. To me, that gives this album a bit more sound to it loosing the pop feel and leaving that to those on that side of the industry. Bottom line, don’t pass this album up if you’re into grunge, punk and or alternative music. I think you’ll be surprised since 12 years has past since this album was released.

Track listing:

1. “Mono” 3:39
2. “But Julian, I’m a Little Bit Older Than You” 2:48
3. “Hold on to Me” 3:45
4. “Sunset Strip” 5:32
5. “All the Drugs” 4:31
6. “Almost Golden” 3:25
7. “I’ll Do Anything” 3:01
8. “Uncool” 4:37
9. “Life Despite God” 4:16
10. “Hello” 3:10
11. “Zeplin Song” 2:48
12. “Never Gonna Be the Same” 5:07

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