July 14, 2010

Live Through This
Hole

(1994)

In 1994, Courtney Love’s band Hole released an album that was an unintentional prediction of the events to come where the lead singer saw herself as a victim/villain, a witch who should be burned at the stake. Love was Yoko to Kurt Cobain’s Lennon and when Cobain killed himself, Love was Public Enemy Number One. While some would run away from the spotlight, Love used the experience to add more fuel to her inner fire.
Sonically, Live Through This, seems inspired very much by Cobain’s band Nirvana (let’s not get into theories as to why), and British 80’s bands such as Echo and the Bunnymen. It’s a major departure from the band’s debut album Pretty On the Inside and I feel that that is for the better. The songs are catchy yet maintain the energy and anger that their previous material had. Love’s “victimized” songs (“Asking For It,” “Softer Softest”) come across as whiney and it’s clear that Love read lots of Naomi Wolfe before embarking on the making of this album. The band is more impressive when singing on not so emotional matters. “Jennifer’s Body,” and “Gutless,” are dark horses on Live.
The album holds up well in its 15th year; it’s hard to separate the songs from their surrounding misery but they stand up well even without the Cobain mystique enveloping them. While it’s a shame Courtney Love went back to being a professional celebrity, I can’t imagine her making albums regularly—she seems to have limited musical ideas and the novelty of Hole albums will be apart of the band’s legacy.

–MEW

PS:  I wrote this review before Hole’s latest Nobody’s Daughter came out but I stand by what I thought before–Courtney’s latest material is half-assed.  I think they should have called it a night after Celebrity Skin.

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