71 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2010
Wow. Who expected this? We all know the back story of Courtney Love. Her personal life has long overshadowed any musical effort that she has put out. And in her own words, she has spent more time being a "celebrity" than an actual musician in the past 10 years. After years of tabloid scandals, celebrity feuds and gossip, even the most hardcore fan could be forgiven for thinking this was going to be an absolute disaster. But it's not. In fact, this is a great record...actually, scratch that. The fact that this was made at all makes this a phenomenal record.
If you are looking for the heaviness of Pretty on the Inside or the roaring grunge Queen of Live Through This, then look elsewhere. Compared to Holes discography, Nobody's Daughter is probably closest to Celebrity Skin, but even that is an unfair comparison. This album is more in the vein of latter-day Marianne Faithfull and Stevie Nicks than any of the above. Some critics would have you believe this is a disappointment. Most seem to want some sort of repeat performance of Live Through This, which is ridiculous. Grunge is dead and Courtney is now a 45 year old woman. Do they still want her to be singing about Pee-Girls and Garbadge Men at 45? As someone who favours songwriting and lyrics above all else, Nobody's Daughter is such a classy, lyrically strong and wonderful record that shows a remarkable amount of growth.
Nobody's Daughter started out life as a solo record, and a folk-rock record to it's core. The re-recorded product (Recorded with and co-produced by new Hole guitarist Micko Larkin) still retains some of the earthy folk of the ditched solo record, but adds some much needed meat to it's bones. Some of the highlights include The title track, which could one day be regarded as her masterpiece. Containing a brilliant riff and equally brilliant lyrics, it's epic. It's sweeping. It's her "Gold Dust Woman" it's her "The Wall" all combined into one. It is truly that good. "Honey" is a gorgeous, heartbreaking scream-along ballad that is quite obviously written about her late husband. It's a very touching song, sung with a passion that has been missing from Courtney's music since Live Through This. "Pacific Coast Highway" is the twin sister of "Malibu"; it's a fantastic track which sounds like it should have been given to Stevie Nicks. "Someone Else's Bed" is one of the true highlights of the album. A song about one night stands, it's like R.E.M's "Country Feedback" meets "Doll Parts". The real highlight for me on this record though has to be "For Once in Your Life". The track is a stunning English pop/Celtic waltz, complete with marching drums and cellos and a beautiful backup vocal from Martha Wainwright and Jenni Muldaur. It is just a phenomenal tune, which very much recalls early Marianne Faithfull. The album ends on a big high note with "Never Go Hungry" which is just Courtney alone with her acoustic guitar. This is a 60s Dylan style folk tune, about survival through the darkest of times.
Some people don't want to see an artist grow. As an album, Nobody's Daughter is possibly lyrically the strongest Courtney has ever been, and as a long time Courtney Love/Hole fan I couldn't happier with it. This isn't Zeitgeist and it isn't Chinese Demoracy. However you feel about Courtney using the band name Hole for this record, Nobodys' Daughter is for the most part an intelligent, mournful, elegant, sometimes angry, but gratifying album that attempts to face some of her past mistakes head-on. In a perfect world this album would be given the accolades it deserves. Unfortunately we will have to wait for the world to catch up with her before it sees the critical praise it is due. Highly recommended.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2010
After a decade, Courtney Love has proven what fans have known all along, that she truly is a talented musician who understands her craft, understands herself,who knows that there is no room for ego where art is concerned--that good art, good music must speak for itself. Nobody's Daughter isn't a 90's sound. It's anger, love, pain and longing immortalized by great songs. I was impressed. I have been a Hole fan since the beginning, and not since Live Through This have I heard this emotional quality in their music. It's deep and raw. It's distinct, unique, and such a relief after all of the cookie cutter bands who have been played on the radio over the past five years. Good music is timeless, and Courtney Love and her band Hole have created something which will never be forgotten.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2010
You know I read the reviews for this album before I purchased it and I noticed that the bad reviews really didn't criticize the songs. Instead, they were just filled with contempt for Courtney Love. What a shame! Well, I liked what Hole did in the 90s. I purchased this album anyway and basically, it's excellent. This is a real album. It's filled with well-thought out lyrics and really good music. It's what an album should be and they really don't make good albums anymore, so this is sort of a gem. Every song is good. The lyrics are touching, thought-provoking and some lyrics are ripe with great imagery. The music is terrific. I'm not sure who the new Hole is, but they sure can play. Love is a great lyricist and songs like Pacific Coast Highway and Someone Else's Bed take you into her despair. It's really, really good, and I've been devouring this thing for 3 days. Great purchase!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2010
You either like her or you don't. One thing you can count on from Courtney Love, who IS the band Hole, is that she sticks to her roots and doesn't pretend to do anything else. This album's sound is basic punk/pop + jangly classic rock. The first 2 tracks, "Nobody's Daughter" and "Skinny Little B****", remind me of amped-up REM, as in "Monster", and they set the general tone for the album, musically. Courtney's persona is still dark, angry and desperate, pouring out the passion and confusion of her turbulent mad world. "Someone Else's Bed" opens with a desolate scene: "...lying in your underwear...in someone else's bed...a terrible sense of dread...so I have another cigarette." The music is appropriately serious, and later in the song, she admits, "In the filthy morning after, I have walked the walk of shame." However, in places I hear humility, an acceptance of the reality of the world and her place in it. And, Courtney's somewhat weakened voice reflects who she is and what she has been through. In the conversational ballad "Letter To God", she acknowledges her failings, earnestly pleading to understand and to be understood: "I always wanted to die but you kept me alive...I am coming unglued, please help me." Another thing I like is that she seems conscious of the pain of adulthood. In "Petals", from "Celebrity Skin", she mourned, "I miss the sweet boys in the summer of their youth"; and apparently she still does, because on this album she sings about "a BOY who came from the sea" in "Pacific Coast Highway", and in "For Once In Your Life", a milder track in waltz tempo with strings and piano, she declares, "I swear I'm too young to be this old." In other places she refers to "boys" and "girls" rather than "men" and "women", and she states "I miss the young" and "You're too young". Perhaps this is the reason for the drugs and rebellious behavior. Maybe, like me, she just isn't so keen on growing up. "Loser Dust" is harder, more obviously punk, with angry, vengeful lyrics. The CD closes with "Never Go Hungry", a song about survival which is more folk than it is rock. Courtney states bluntly, "It's a long way back from where I've fallen down" and in the end vows, like Scarlett O'Hara, that she will "...never go hungry again."
For someone who has the reputation of being a rampant loose cannon and a total train wreck, Courtney Love comes across as surprisingly introspective and self-aware on this album, and musically pretty together. And by the way, NOBODY could get more out of the word "DOWN" than she does!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
As I mention in my review for the album Live Through This (which I am proud to say has been designated the "Most Helpful" review of that album on Amazon), I became a fan of Courtney Love way back in 1994 shortly after Kurt Cobain's death. So, though I certainly haven't been a fan since the beginning, I have been a fan for what now feels like a long time, a timeframe spanning my late teens until, gulp, nearly middle age. I can't approach this album without a sense of "ah, youth" nostalgia.
By the time of Hole's breakup in 2002 I was something of a fixture on the official Hole forum which was frequented by Courtney Love herself. Courtney mingled with us, her fans, in the chatroom and on the forum, making us feel like we personally were a part of the process of her unfolding career (on a few occasions she even met personally with fans, even going to a premiere with one). Courtney herself even kindly answered many of my questions on wide ranging aspects of life, from the theories of Carl Jung to her favorite locales in our mutual former hometown of Portland, Oregon. She even, in a personal e-mail, introduced me to Buddhist chanting which I still do to this day.
At some point, however, in about 2001, I saw the writing on the wall and posted on the forum that I felt her career was over, that she would never release a valuable album or movie again. I was told that Courtney responded to my post, but the whole thing disappeared too quickly for me to see her response. Shortly thereafter I received a personal message from the forum moderator saying that Courtney herself said I was being too negative and I needed to tone it down. (Imagine that. Courtney Love wanted me to tone it down. Like I said: ah, youth.) By 2002, Hole was disbanded, shortly thereafter we, her fans, watched in horror as her life unravelled (she was arrested on my birthday of October 2nd), and soon the entire website, chatroom, forum, disappeared. The end of an era. Our online community was gone! I have watched in the intervening years in horror as my prediction proved to be true. It seemed that it was all over for Courtney Love.
I'm glad to say that with NOBODY'S DAUGHTER, Courtney Love has made me eat my words. I'm so glad to write that. Courtney is back. Yes, the first decade of this century was not good for Courtney, or for anyone, but NOBODY'S DAUGHTER puts that all behind her. Due to all that Courtney Love has been through, due to the fact that Courtney (like all of us) is older, the voice on this album is not the same voice as from earlier Hole recordings. Suffice it to say that in her mid-40s she does not have as much energy and spunk as she had in her late 20s and early 30s. The title track is brilliant; I love it, but it's not the same voice as, say, the voice you hear in Northern Star from Celebrity Skin. But there are still songs on NOBODY'S DAUGHTER that are on par with the best of Hole's past albums. The songs Skinny Little *****, Samantha, and the title track, are examples. There really isn't a bad song on this album. They're all great.
And that brings me to an important point. If you do buy this album, make sure -- I repeat -- make sure to get the "explicit" version with that notorious sticker! I made the mistake of buying my first copy of this album from a retailer that censors artists, meaning that many words that I am certainly old enough to hear were removed, and the chorus I heard on the song Samantha went: "People like you, suck. People like me, suck. In order to avoid suffering." A curious message of self-loathing, I thought, though ulimately nonsensical, and in the language of Beavis and Butthead. Eventually, I decided to buy a second copy marked "explicit," and I was shocked when I heard the uncensored chorus of Samantha. Replace the "s" with an "f," and that's the explicit version: "People like you **** people like me, in order to avoid suffering." The entire message of the sentence, and actually the entire song, is altered by changing that one letter. And, best of all, it actually makes sense! (Again, something of a Buddhist theme: they do it in order to avoid suffering. Like the Buddha said, all life is suffering.) That uncensored howl on Samantha is on par with classic Hole, on par with "go on, take everything" or "they bought and sold it, now it's gone!"
I actually hesitated to buy NOBODY'S DAUGHTER at first because, to be honest, even though this is a great album, it just doesn't feel like a "Hole" album. The band always had a rotating membership, but there were always the two mainstays of Courtney and Eric. The other two members were always female, of course. With Eric gone, and all the rest of the band being male (albeit males in their early 20s), it feels more like Courtney Love and her backup band. That's most likely because, well, it is. The decision to use the "Hole" moniker is most likely an attempt to put the emphasis back on the music and distance the music from Courtney's by now tabloid reputation, as well as to distance the music from the failure of the album Americas Sweetheart which was, of course, released as a "Courtney Love" album. I think it would be more appropriate if NOBODY'S DAUGHTER was released by a band called "Courtney and Linda," because producer Linda Perry said she was determined to "save the Queen of Rock." I'm glad to say she succeeded.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2010
I LOVE this cd!!!! It is raw and edgy. The first song,"Nobody's Daughter" is great! Also, love "Skinny Little Bitch", "Honey" "Pacific Coast Highway" "Samantha" "Someone Else's Bed" and "For Once in Your Life".
The Last three songs, "Letter to God" I find myself not listening to it too much as, it gets kind of wearing on my nerves and a little whinny.I understand what she was saying, but I think I need to be in the mood for it. I could have done without, "How Dirty Girls Get Clean", "Loser Dust" and "Never Go Hungry" they are okay, but they don't seem to fit it in with the rest of the album as they are completely different in sound and therefore the focus seems to be lacking.
However,on the whole,this is a great cd. I love Courtney's edgey sound and you can feel the angst in her heart pouring out to you.
So, being someone who is Nobody's Daugher, I solute you Courtney. Thanks for making a cd to all us daughters who are so damaged. No, they don't know just how damaged we really are. However, they (the parents) DID that damage. Thanks for speaking for us.
On another note, the inner lining of the cd's notes are great along with the artwork. The whole thing was so well thoughtout and put together. I really felt like she was speaking just to me.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2010
I have been listening to the leaked demos from this album for a very long time now and accepted that that was probably all I was going to get. When I heard that this album was being released under the Hole name I felt on the fence as to whether or not I could support it. I have been a Hole fan for years and years and I felt like this was going to be another Axl Rose scenario. Since I have every other Hole record/single plus America's Sweetheart I felt that I just had to buy this to continue with my collection. I have to admit that I was completely blown away when the first song started to play. I didn't recognize it as Nobody's Daughter since the leaked version is totally different. The awesome thing is that BOTH versions are amazing. There are many songs on this album that I already have different versions of, but nothing has been destroyed. This is a solid album put out by solid musicians. The actual music on this record is great, and the lyrics are MUCH stronger than anything on America's Sweetheart. I still don't consider this to be a "Hole" album, but more a Courtney/Hole record if that makes any sense.
Bottom line, I am very plesantly surprised by the overall quality of this music and I hope that this is a sign of more to come.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2011
I read that this CD got terrible reviews and didn't sell very well at all -- both of which are mysteries to me! Courtney Love and her band really put out a solid, in your face, hard edged bit of work on this that I really loved. When it comes to rock music - I am a devout minimalist - I don't want over production - I don't want backing orchestra tracks - I just want to hear the band - as close to a live, in the pub sound as you can get. Along with that - I want it edgy, in your face and coming at me like a loaded freight train, blasting downhill with no brakes. All of which is delivered on this CD.
I don't know why this CD didn't sell like crazy - unless of course, people have some kind of opinion based on Courtney's personal life stories or - maybe she's been absent from the front lines a while, didn't get proper support from the label or something -- ???
Any way - I'm not a music critic, but I know what I like - and I liked this CD a lot -- I extend my best wishes to Courtney Love and Hole for amazing success, and recommend Nobody's Daughter to anyone wanting a solid hard hitting rock set to enjoy... This group delivers...
Dennis - DeafRaven Guitarworks, Petaluma, California
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2010
I've been a huge Hole fan since I was thirteen, and I have to say I was shocked at how well this album turned out. To me, it was mixture of all of Hole and of Courtney's solo careers meshed into one CD. First off, the lyrics are so deep and beautiful, it isn't quite as angry as early Hole; but Courtney has grown into a very mature musician, you can really feel the emotions behind this album. Honestly there wasn't a track on this CD that I didn't love. "Honey" is a really beautiful song with raw heart-felt emotion. Where as "Samantha" is very poetic and more angsty with a catchy chorus. With "Loser Dust," I really got a taste of the old Courtney, it's very nostalgic and reminds me of the "Live Through This" album more then any other song from this album. "Never Go Hungry" is acoustic and very raw-felt song that showcases what I love so much about Courtney Love, her vulnerability and raw edge. This whole album shows off her raw voice and a way of connecting the lyrics with such heart and vigor that it's beautiful. Absolutely love this album, fully!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2010
I LOVE Real in your FACE Rock....not the "generic" term used today for everything from Rap to hip hop and Disney....This CD reeks with MEAN Down and Dirty Mayhem...
I don't think I've heard anything like it since the 1980's....WOW!
I really wondered what would happen to Courtney after all the bad press and rehab.
Sometimes people go through all that and the music loses its heart...."Nobody's Daughter" didn't disappoint me. I think I still like Celebrity Skin better...but not by "much". Its refreshing to hear pounding guitars...in a day of synth voices, over production and "schlock Rock" which unfortunately is Everywhere...it seems.
The best song for me, is "Skinny Little Bitch"...but the opening track is also
very GOOD....I respect Ms. Love's honesty and maybe its better to tell it like it "IS" then selling out....There is Enough, joy, joy, happy, happy....post rehab
music out there....The music is GREAT to Rant to....Rock On Courtney!