Sound — 6
This was dissapointing. There are blatant rip offs from other popular songs and even the better songs of the album sound like generic-made for radio music. There is a hazy kind of '70s drug feeling to this CD, with many parts of songs sounding like they came from that decade (the opening of "Life Despite God" for example). Nothing new is done here and the guitars, everything has been done before, better too in many cases. I am a huge fan of hole and still think Courtney Love is a talented lady but this CD comes off as being one rushed, money making attempt.
Lyrics — 6
Courtney has really changed her lyrical style on this CD, and quite often the lyrics come up as a mess, with too many ideas and images being packed into one song. God, drugs, sex, fire, hollywood and burning dresses are common themes here. Many times I found myself thinking that the lyrics do not even match with eachother or the song. "Zeplin Song" is ridiculous, with lines like "Why are the stoners always stoned, why did the chicken cross the road?" "But Julian," reads like an escort advertisment, with Courtney chanting "Busty co-eds live live live! I am 1-800 1-800 1-800 wired!" All too often the lyrics sound like rewashing of old ideas, and yet for all the misteps, there are still some pretty good, emotional couplets. In "Sunset Strip" Courtney wails "Before the sparkle in my eyes turns to strychine, and this beating heart is still a valentine" and in "Almost Golden" she cries "Whens he gonna come, whens he gonna spring, whens he going to blow up in full glow?" Compared to the lyrics of most popular artists today, this stuff is pretty good, but definetly not as good as Courtneys past efforts. As for her voice, it is completely and utterly shot. She was never a great singer in the classic sense but she was always powerful, here she just sounds worn out, stumbling over words and running out of breath. The vocals are almost embaressing in parts and it just takes away from the overall listening experience.
Overall Impression — 4
This album is really dissapointing compared to Courtney Love's past work with Hole. The best songs are "Mono" and "Sunset Strip" but even these are not that memorable. THe worst songs are "Zeplin Song" and "Hello." If this CD were stolen or lost I don't think I would buy it again. I wanted to love this CD but it is obvious that Courtney Love is wearing out. 2004 was a crazy year for her and she was in and out of rehab during the recording of this and it really does show. I hope she can get it together and start making some good, more original music again, but until then I would recomend buying anything by hole instead of "America's Sweetheart." Trust me, you are not going to find the brilliance of "Violet" or "Malibu" on this CD.