Considering that Courtney Love’s first solo album, the 2004 America’s Sweetheart was a complete and utter flop, it was with some trepidation that I braved Hole’s new release Nobody’s Daughter. Love is, after all, a loose cannon. She released this album under the Hole name, despite legal objections from former Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson and announced that bassist Melissa Auf der Maur was in on the project, before Auf de Maur even knew about the reunion. But, whatever. It’s pretty kick arse, all things considered.
First single Skinny Little Bitch is a power pop tune with attitude and a nod back to the Celebrity Skin days. It’s grungy, spite-filled and after title track Nobody’s Daughter, is a good introduction to the album. Next track Honey is more relaxed but Love’s voice is filled with conviction as she sings about the death of an angel (Cobain?).
Love’s voice hasn’t changed too much over the years but her material has. In Letter to God, she sings “I never wanted to be the person you see/can you tell me who I am?/I always wanted to die but you kept me here alive/can you tell me who I am?”. Similarly, lyrics like “I knew a boy who left me so damaged”, “he was the only boy who ever knew the truth about me” and “I’m over it and so disgraced and too ashamed to show my face” from the solemn track Letter To God could be autobiographical. Is Rolling Stone’s “most controversial woman in the history of rock” repenting?
The middle of the album lags a little as too many tracks with similar tempos and themes are grouped together, but Loser Dust picks up the pace again and is a solid pop rock track. On music alone, the album is reasonably good. Its real appeal though is a peak into the thoughts of Courtney Love, one half of rock and roll’s most notorious couple. It’s possible though, that I’m looking for clues that just aren’t there. Nevertheless, it’s a good release from a woman whose life has almost fallen apart more than once. I just hope it doesn’t result in a lawsuit.