Nobody’s DaughterHOLE

Nobody’s Daughter


The first album released under the Hole moniker since 1998’s Celebrity Skin is really frontwoman Courtney Love’s second solo album—co-founder, songwriter and lead guitarist Eric Erlandson isn’t involved, nor is any other previous Hole member. So it’s Love and three ringers on 11 new songs—10 of which Love wrote with collaborators like Billy Corgan, Linda Perry and new guitarist Micko Larkin. (Perry gets full credit on one tune, “Letter to God.”)

Much of the riveting intensity of the group’s 1990s heyday appears to have left along with her former bandmates, but there are flashes here of the snarling fury Love deployed to such devastating effect back in the day. She spits out her vocals with vengeful disdain on “Skinny Little Bitch,” overdriven guitars roiling atop an elastic bassline that speeds up as the song races toward a climatic pile-up at the end. She shifts tempos and attitude on the more contemplative “Pacific Coast Highway,” taking stock as layers of acoustic and electric guitars chug along behind her.

Too often, though, the slower songs trip her up. While once they were showcases for harrowing displays of naked emotion, Love sounds more dispassionate these days. The production doesn’t help—the songs have an airless, sanded-down feel that doesn’t fit with her visceral persona. Courtney Love’s tumultuous history suggests that she has a compelling story to tell, and perhaps she does. It’s just not the one she’s telling on Nobody’s Daughter. –Eric R. Danton

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