Hole/Nobody’s Daughter

Nobody's DaughterNobody’s Daughter[8] is the fourth studio album by Hole, released worldwide on 27 April 2010 (see release history).[9] It is the first album to be released by Hole in twelve years, since 1998’s Celebrity Skin, and also the band’s first album since their reunion in 2009.

Billy Corgan and Linda Perry were the principal personnel involved in the recording of the original version of the album, Courtney Love‘s How Dirty Girls Get Clean. Corgan helped Love lay down some demo tracks at Chicago’s Village Recorder in 2006 and assumed the role of guitar player on most of the songs, as well as writing the main riff to “Samantha“, while Perry co-wrote a number of songs and headed production. In a May 2006 interview, Perry stated that her “dedication right now is to bring back the queen of rock and roll, and that’s Courtney Love… my job now is to make that rock and roll record that everybody’s gonna love.”[10]

However, after many failed attempts at recording the album throughout 2006-2008, Michael Beinhorn was hired as a producer in late 2008, along with an assistant producer, Owen Lewis. Love had stated in a blog post that her “final producer on this record is very strong as a man and has opinions very strongly he did Celebrity Skin.” Recording for the album began in Glenwood Place Studios in Burbank, California in January 2009 and continued there for a number of months. Further recording was done at Henson Recording Studios, where “Skinny Little Bitch“, “Samantha” and the title track “Nobody’s Daughter” are known to have been recorded. Prior to the second sessions for the album, Beinhorn departed from the project[11] leaving guitarist Micko Larkin in charge of additional production.

Final sessions for the album began at New York’s famous Electric Lady Studios[12] in August 2009 and lasted until December. Of all three recording sessions, the band’s stay at Electric Lady Studios was the shortest and most concerned with additional overdubs (on the likes of “Never Go Hungry”) and production. Around that time, Love stated that the record was finished with the completion of the song “Honey”, “the widow song” she never wanted to record, but is extremely pleased with. [Wikipedia]

Nobody’s Daughter—-From the onset, this is full of promise and memories of days past. The voice sounds just as it did in the beginning….even a bit more emotional and real than you would expect. The guitars are nicely delivered with just the right amount of fuzz…allowing Love’s vocal to be the star of the show…this track is excellent.

Skinny Little Bitch—-Full of the rancor and aggression of earlier classic hole tracks, Love shows that without a doubt she still has the anger and attitude to carry off a magnificent return. This has some really great driving guitars that ramp up and then die off at a moment’s notice…in an incredibly good way. Love has a permanent sneer on her face that the years have done nothing to erase…this is fantastic…love the noise and pissy attitude.

Honey—-This begins in a very nice, gentle way…the guitars are understated allowing the entire focus to be on the vocal. Even when the song opens up a bit, it is all about Love..personally, I am amazed at how good she sounds…her voice is strong and her phrasing with certain words are exactly as you would expect them to be..making you want to grab and relisten to your copy of Live Through This.

Pacific Coast Highway—-Again with the gentle guitar opening….let it rip Billy! Jeez! The vocal is almost lazy…the delivery is so relaxed that it almost lacks passion at times…whether it is because she can’t scream like the old days or that she just lacks the fortitude is beyond me. We get little brief glimpses of the past, but for the most part, this song allows Courtney to be lazy and just go through the emotions.

Samantha—-With a bit more rhythmic and aggressive guitar, Love sounds like the old days with her phrasing and ire delivery. This is fantastic…making me wonder why this was not released as the first single. The tone of the song is really nice, but it is the tone of the vocal that will make everyone declare that the ‘Queen Bitch’ has returned. This is fantastic…the longer the song lasts, the better it gets…remarkable.

Someone Else’s Bed—-Again, returning the comfortable acoustic style ballad vocal, makes one wonder if this is all Love is capable of now these days or if this is where she is at in life. The melody in the voice really shines through and this really saves the song for me. The breathy delivery combined with the tactful overlays make the song much larger than it really is….just showing you the capability of studio magic. This is very nice.

For Once In Your Life—-This has a remarkable guitar intro…gentle and melodic…Love enters the fray and the song has a near Alt-Country groove to it that you can’t help but let under your skin. This is remarkable….one of my favorite tracks on the release. I still question why the lack of more aggressive vocals…leading me to believe that the physical abuse Love has heaped on herself has just worn away her ability to be lud and aggressive…none the less, I love this Love just fine.

Letter To God—-This is by far, the most sedate song on the release…a mirror into the brain of Love, this paints a picture of confusion, regret and loneliness with a little bit of lost thrown in just for fun. The guitars are very understated…the drums are allowed a spotlight and a few nice crashes in the process. As the song becomes more alive, this becomes the recorded autobiography of Courtney Love…a wonderful piece of recorded history.

Loser Dust—-Now, this is more what i have been craving. The guitars are big and aggressive..the drums are over the top and in your face and the vocal is delivered with an anger and intensity that is few and far between on this release. This is more like it courtney…it is grand to know that you can still get pissed off….fantastic!!!

How Dirty Girls Get Clean—-This has a guitar that is so pushed to the back of the mix at the onset you struggle to hear it…in the very front are the vocals…angry and drawn out with that classic Love phrasing that I promise will have you grabbing for older Hole in the next few hours. As the song opens up, the while band develops an attitude and volume that is rarely heard on this release. Love sneers and bitches her way through the whole song, allowing you to feel like she has come home after a very long absence. Great!!!

Never Go Hungry [Bonus Track]—-Returning to the full on acoustic sound of much of this release, the remarkable thing about this is the melodic and wonderful guitar. the drums are all but missing in this…where are they? The vocal is relaxed and not stretched out of the comfortable alto that Love prefers to use. This is really nice…a great way to end a marvelous return.

****3/4 out of 5


One Response to “Hole/Nobody’s Daughter”

  1. Great review! My favorites are “Letter to God”, “Loser Dust” and “How Dirty Girls Get Clean”. I hope that means that Courtney Love is back for good. Period! 🙂
    (Honestly, I missed Hole a lot)

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