Mummy's back. And I'm seeing her again next week!
They are selling this album as '12 years in the making', but no one thought Hole would get back together, and they didn't, did they? Even I sold my Hole hairslides, rather too soon, it would seem. I have 80% of these songs sung by Courtney on her own, that I've been listening to for about three years. It would definitely have been nice to have more of a mixture. But hey.
I've never heard the song 'Nobody's Daughter' before and it comes off quite dirgy; but in a bad way, like something off the solo album. I definitely don't think it's an album opener. I like the bit where she goes 'uh' though, but it doesn't really go up or down; it just plods. Ooh, hold on, it picked up at the end a bit. I just don't think glossy and dirgy is a good combination. I'd rather have scratchy and dirgy, or glossy and poppy. Her voice sounds weird at the end of the song; like it's not her. I prefer her out of tune.
Skinny Little Bitch sounds like Molly's Chamber or one of those. It's kind of throw away and generic, but it's got a bit of spark, a youthful energy. I like 'baby just go slower, baby just go lower'; she always has a little lyrical flourish here and there. The end is kind of stupid where it speeds up, but she does scream a bit.
I've never heard Honey before. Ah- there it is. A massive smile on my face. I LOVE it when she sings the word 'down'! It's like when Molko sings 'you' as 'yooooouuuuuuhhoooooo'. Courtney sings 'down' in such a Courtney way; I fucking love it, it's a total trademark. Her voice sounds great all gravelly and raw. I got a 'It's Not Your Birthday Anymore' by Mozzy feeling about it. Oh and you can even hear her catch her breath at one point; I love that, when you can hear the imperfections. The voice sounds too glossy at one point, like on Almost Golden (urgh) but it's only for a second. Woah her voice sounds all over the place, polished, flat, screamy. It's a fucking mess. But it's working here. I think I like it.
Pacific Coast Highway (the demo) is probably one of my favourite songs of all time. It's just beautiful, just divine. The guitar is too loud on this version. I KNEW they'd fuck it up! It was obvious. The backing vocals could go too. The stripped down version is perfect; you can't meddle with it. It's like an acoustic version she did of Hold Onto Me (off the solo album); it was like a different song to the studio version, which was just dreadful. But the core of the song was fantastic. I think she needs to drown her producer. Hmm, she's changed the lyrics to Pacific Coast Highway too. That always throws me when I'm doing my Courtney yell around the bedroom. At least you can still hear her gasping for breath. The guitar solo is overblown and the end bit is just useless. But I don't mind; I've still got the demo. It's like writing; you can edit it and edit it and get too many opinions and in the end it just loses it's way. She's worked on these songs too long.
I didn't like Samantha until I heard her do it on Jonathan Ross, and then I did. It's all over the ockey! That 'people like you fuck people like me' bit is good singalong fun. I get the feeling it might get old quick though. Good scream at the end.
I've not heard Someone Else's Bed before. It seems lyrically confused. The syllables don't seem to fit right which annoys a pedant like me. I like these lyrics though: 'Oh and you'll be the end of me/ As I have been the death of you/ And I quite enjoy your suffering/ Oh I want to watch the view.' And her voice sounds strong. I think this one is pretty good. It seems real. I like the way she drags out 'die' and 'try' at the end as well.
I don't like For Once In Your Life, it's tuneless and meandering. Oh there's actually an extra bit that works better than the other version I heard, at least it lifts it up a bit. I like the use of the word 'gorge' too. They should have scrapped the rest and just kept that bit.
Letter to God is lyrically tragic: 'I never wanted to be some kind of comic relief', but not as good musically as Car Crash, which I notice is not on this album. Boo. It's too out of tune, and a bit self-indulgent. They haven't changed it much from the demo; maybe they should have chopped a bit off. I know, you really can't win!
I think Loser Dust is duff too; it sounds like it should be on American Sweetheart. It's probably the worst song on the album.
I'm also not overkeen on How Dirty Girls Get Clean. I just think it's a bit tuneless. It makes me pine for the real dirgy stuff like Dicknail. Why is it underlining dirgy? DIRGY? DIRGEY. That doesn't look right. DIRGY. Don't correct me again, Firefox. I just find this song really... uh, boring.
And it's not a great finale because I don't like Never Go Hungry much either! It's just too one note for me. I prefer it much more than the previous two songs, but I can see it becoming one of her anthems and I don't think it's up to the job. I DO like her flat singing on it (and her voice totally WENT when she did it at Shepherd's Bush), but I just wish it went somewhere, except where it does.
Believe it or not, I do actually like the album. I just like complaining as well. I'm like this with albums (and mixtapes actually): if it has two or three songs I can squirrel away and love, I'm not bothered about all the flim flam. I will HAMMER the songs I do like until I get sick of them. It's like the two most recent Morrissey albums; nine rubbish ones, but three amazing ones, (OK two) but you'd still kick a granny in the face for decent ones, because they mean everything. And there's stuff that means something on here, too. Courtney means something. It's just nice to have her around, too you know.
Courtney, Conor, Mozzy, Brian. You're the only ones that matter to me. Everything else is just window dressing.