Sound — 8
This album is surprisingly pop-like for this band. I was given this CD by a friend of the family who claimed it was too "soft" for him. But, I put the CD into my CD player and the first three chords of the album and "oh make me over" haunted me. I loved it. From the whiskey-howling bridge in "Northern Star" to the beginning Gretsch welcome of "Malibu", this album is as close to perfect as Courtney Love could possibly make it.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics of this album are genius. No sugar coated love lyrics could possibly be found anywhere on this album (except "Heaven Tonight"). Most, if not all of this album was written about Kurt Cobain (Courtney's late husband) and her agony she suffered from his suicide and the hate she had against him. One song comes to mind, "Northern Star". In this complex song of multiple chords it is Courtney, a guitar, a violin orchestra, and a few loud bangs, she is screaming during the middle bridge: "And I want you, and blessed are the broken, and I beg you, no lonliness, no misery is worth you, oh, tear your heart out, cold as ice, it's mine". Hands down these lyrics are perfect!
Overall Impression — 9
When I found out I was listening to Courtney Love's band I was amazed. I had this image of her band being horrible and talentless, but this proved me very wrong. The music is organized, catchy, melodic, and sometimes raw. If you listen to the entire album at least once, I promise you will have at least one of the songs stuck in your head. This may be Hole's best album. The melodic guitar riffs and chords, and the calm, yet heart-wrenching vocals laid down by Courtney Love make this one of the best albums of the late '90s.