Musings on music delivered when I dig myself out.

Courtney Love -- America's Sweetheart
Virgin Records; 2004

The second I heard that Courtney Love's solo debut was going to be entitled America's Sweetheart, I sprayed my drink all over my friend, flipped my meal tray, and got on the table to scream "YOU MUST BE KIDDING ME!!" Ok, so I didn't do that, but you can sure bet I wished I had. From her time as Cobain's leeching wife to her tenure in the slightly talented Hole, America hasn't really shown a lot of adoration to Ms. Love. What made her inclined to make a solo record, you ask? Probably a litany of things, but most likely for the attention it will garner her.

To be blunt, Love has very little, if ANY, musical talent to speak of. Her voice is so shredded and repulsive that you'd think she gargles with broken glass and flosses with barbed wire. There are points on the album where it's overtly evident that the producers tried to tweak her shriek into something more livable, but only managed to give her a digitized vibe that recalls -- don't ask me how -- Metallica's James Hetfield. Good try, boys, but there isn't anything that's going to make her sound good.

Her guitar playing -- that is, if she actually did any on the album -- is so hopelessly simple that most of the dudes that hang out at Guitar Center could write/riff circles around her. Every song off America's Sweetheart is chock full of melodies that would feel comfortable in the company of Nickelback or any number of washed up 90s alterna-rockers. To her credit, though, she made one good move on "I'll Do Anything" by aping her late husband's most renowned guitar line from "Smells Like Teen Spirit." I can just imagine her saying, [insert tar-filled voice for fun] "Do you think anyone will notice?" followed by gulping a handful of Vicodin.

Unsurprisingly, that cute vignette brings us to her lyrics. Listeners are going to need much more than a spoonful of sugar to swallow the insipid lyrics Love gurgles at them. "I see Paris I see France / I can see your underpants / Yeah, I see Paris I see France / Yeah, I hear London calling." What the hell is that? In addition to being unbelievably stupid, it's not the only time on "But Julian, I'm a Little Older Than You" that she plunders punk's past for lyrics. Love even goes so far as to scream "Oi oi oi! Gabba gabba, gabba babba hey!" which would surely make Joey and Dee Dee Ramone spin in their respective graves.

The worst part about the album is that with the exception of one song, she claims to have written it all. At least if she had other people writing her songs, she could blame them for sounding this horrible. Hell, if other people were writing for her, they might even be listenable! It seems doubtful that would be the case, as Love put her filthy touch all over the album.

I think Courtney Love is 100% aware of how brutally awful she is musically. She knows it and loves it; and if it means getting another few minutes in the media's gleaming limelight, she'll exploit it. After all, she is "America's sweetheart."

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