Hole's third album (their "California" album) was eagerly anticipated and came after a tumultuous period in leader Courtney Love's life. Husband Kurt Cobain killed himself, Hole's bass player died of an overdose, and Love found herself in the midst of a media sh** show, partly of her making. A polarizing figure at best, she nonetheless was treated brutally by the media and by Cobain fans, some of who went as far to suggest she was responsible for his death. "Celebrity Skin" doesn't directly deal with Cobain's suicide, but his presence is felt and a line like "It's better to rise than fade away" is an obvious reference to his suicide note. The album is more polished than the intense, raw "Live Through This," and plays like a mix of punk and Fleetwood Mac. Ex-boyfriend/Pumpkinhead Billy Corgan contributes to the songwriting. If you were listening to music in the late 90s, you'll remember the three great singles: "Awful," "Celebrity Skin," and "Malibu." This seemed like the album where Love was getting her crap together and meeting the haters head on, but more than 10 years later and she's still a bit of a trainwreck. Fun Portland connection: Love and Cobain met at a show @ Satyricon (R.I.P.). "You want a part of me, well I'm not selling cheap."
Live Through This: five stars; Nobody's Daughter: four and a half stars;
Celebrity Skin: four stars
Hole is the ultimate in female rock! Every song is worth a listen!
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