CD Review – Courtney Love “America’s Sweetheart”

Courtney Love
America’s Sweetheart

Forget in-store signings and press tours; making tabloid covers and the nightly news is the Courtney Love way. In late 2003, when Love pawed and hissed like a cat in court, she actually gave the public a preview of America’s Sweetheart.

On her first solo disc and first CD since Hole’s Celebrity Skin in 1998, Love screeches and screams, hardly singing at all.

Love kicks off the album brimming with confidence and anticipation. She starts the hyped-up return by whining, “Did you miss me?” on “Mono.”

Later on the track she demands one more song from God, so she could prove to the world that she’s better than her male counterparts.

For a few tracks Love is paired with Linda Perry (formerly of Four Non-Blondes), who wrote the early ’90s, MTV-catchy “What’s Up?” After working with Love, however, Perry discovered she possessed another talent.

Not only is she successful at turning pop stars into wanna-be rockers (Pink, Xtina), she can also help turn mediocre rock singers into B-level pop artists. With stories of failed relationships, tales of temptations, sex and dreams of dominating her profession, the album embraces the intriguing dichotomy that is Courtney Love.

On “I’ll Do Anything,” she puts a pornographic twist on Lady Liberty’s poem by singing, “Gimme your tired/ Gimme your poor . . . Gimme heat/ Gimme grime/ Gimme everything/ Yeah gimme from behind.”

The topic of the song is Love’s want for all types of men, proclaiming she would be happy to “do” them all.

Directly following the description of her sex life, Love calms the mood with “Uncool,” confessing that she desperately wants to write a love song.

Also on “Uncool,” she insecurely states, “Baby you’re a freak show just like me/ Baby we’re all born ugly.”

Yet, in “Hold On To Me,” Love confidently sings, “I am the center of the universe,” while “Never Gonna Be the Same” shows love declaring, “If there’s a God, it’s me.”

If you think she’s a trashy, sleeze-talking rocker chick, or if you think she’s a provocative, intelligent female, America’s Sweetheart will solidify either opinion. This is because she is both.

Undeniably, Courtney Love is a rock star. Constantly in a destructive cycle that fuels her career all the more, she lives on gossip pages to show the world what underwear she is (or isn’t) wearing.

Fans of Love’s previous efforts may be too wound up in her history to realize the truth of these albums, which are more overproduced, California sounding grunge.

But those not tainted by Love’s post-grunge reign may recognize the elements that are wrong with rock today: poorly written lyrics, mediocre vocals and copycat musicianship.

If grunge died in 1994 along with Kurt Cobain, then perhaps the carbon copies that are coming out years later could have been avoided. Unfortunately, Love continues to sell-out the once proud tradition with AS.

Contact Andrea Papadopulas at