Hole - Nobody's Daughter

by Rich Morris Rating:3 Release Date:2010-05-23

So, after more than a decade of drug abuse, scandal, a rubbish solo album that know one, least of all its maker, gave two fucks about, and accusations of impregnation by Steve Coogan, Courtney Love has resurrected Hole. Except it's not Hole, we all know that. Hole 2010 is what it was always meant to be: Love's backing band, a musical backdrop to the minutiae of her emotional turmoil and car crash affairs. If that means having songs written for the band by Linda Perry and letting some berk from Larrikin Love play guitar then so what? It's the Courtney Love Show and we're all just extras.

Only, if Nobody's Daughter is the best she can offer, we'd all be best flipping channels and looking for something better. Comeback single 'Skinny Little Bitch' is Love-by-numbers but it's one of the album's few genuinely raging moments. Otherwise, the FM gloss of 1998's Celebrity Skin stays firmly in place. Oddly, this rather suits Love's voice. On several tracks she sounds like Motley Crue's Vince Neil or even Axl Rose, especially when she yowls "Ah've lost controoowl!" on 'How Dirty Girls Get Clean' (the song title is the best thing about it). It's all very, unashamedly classic rock.

Unfortunately, it's also overproduced and terribly self-indulgent. I'm sure Love thinks we're still gasping for a peek at her one real asset: her private life. (Did you really think I was going to say 'talent' there? Silly!) But that ship sailed approximately 4,000 magazine interviews back. So when she drawls "I knew a boy who came from the sea/ He was the only boy who ever knew the truth about me", rather than thinking "OMG, is she singing about Kurt here?" most people will just be taking in the plodding, completely uninspired rock riff and feeling bored. And this is before a song lurches around called (barf!) 'Letter to God'. Also, just to resolve things for anyone who might be wondering: no, none of Billy Corgan's contributions come close to the storming glitter rock of 'Celebrity Skin'.

Really, it's a shame Courtney Love was even involved in Nobody's Daughter because her involvement will probably serve to mask what the record actually has going for it: it's a perfectly serviceable, if slightly mediocre, FM rock album. If Axl Rose had made it, we'd all think it was pretty decent.

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