Share NOBODY'S DAUGHTER - Hole (Mercury Records)
Move along. Nothing to see here. Really.

This is a car crash of an album lacking even the morbid attraction of broken bodies, twisted metal and blood splatter one expects of such tragedies. The fact that a major label could release this with anything more than an evil wink and a dirty smirk on its corporate (two)face(d) directly points towards the reason for the decline in the music industry. Who in God’s name do they have working the A&R department at Mercury Records? If I’d have signed “Hole” to my label and received the tapes to this monstrosity for my troubles, I would have sued for breach of contract. Abomination is too light a word.

The only good thing I can say about this disc is that it is, by default, a tremendous advertisement for the use of illicit drugs and wallowing in mental illness. Courtney Love claims she has sent the “Bad Courtney” away. She now performs Buddhist chants and sees her therapists regularly. She also has managed to produce one of the most insipidly banal and spineless works I have ever heard committed in any recorded medium (and that includes the Wiggles and Powderfinger). Bring back Bad Courtney is all I can say. Instead of purchasing this album, I should have bought a bag of smack and given it to her in the hope she could fall off the wagon.

The best thing here is a “bonus track” (11th song on disc) entitled “Never Go Hungry”. An acoustic guitar drones on. Clichéd lyrics are unconvincing delivered in a substandard Dylanesque nasal twang. The highlight of the song arrived when, in despair, I shouted “Shut up” at the CD. Mercifully the song ended right on cue. The whine of the neighbour’s leaf blower was a blessed relief by comparison.

So why am I bothering to write this review? A dire warning? That’s probably not necessary on these pages. I think few I:94 readers concern themselves with Hole albums. The answer, my friends, is guilt. I must make apologies and amends. For years, I have been defending the works of Courtney Love. I was a fan. I have in my possession every single piece of music she has released. I’ve told people I’ve admired her song writing skills and her ability to display genuine emotion during performances. I’ll stick by that. Courtney Love was one of the few performers I have seen with the ability to open up and bleed before an audience. Now she doesn’t seem to have the ability to sit down and drink a cup of coffee.

Even the badly received “America’s Sweetheart” solo album had its moments. It’s true they were tucked between poorly devised rhyming couplets and FM friendly riffing but they were there. This new album has nothing. It pretends to be a new Hole album but it is really just Courtney solo part two. Previous Hole albums benefited from having a band to bounce ideas off of. Here we have session musicians realising the half formed vanities of someone who used to know better.

I’m told this disc took four years to produce at a cost of millions of dollars. I am appalled. Really. Not because of the amount of time and money and so-called talent that was thrown at this thing. I’m appalled that no-one managed to do a halfway decent job given those resources. Even by the dreariest of mainstream standards, this record stinks. There is not even a half salvageable single to be found in the track listing. I am not surprised by the number of producers who walked away from this project and you won’t be either if you listen to it. Better yet, do not even waste the 40 minutes of your life it will take you to judge this for yourself.

Run. Don’t walk.- Bob Short

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