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Courtney's Revenge

Nobody's Daughter propels Hole into the 21st century.

Yet aside from the punk pogo "Loser Dust," the rest of Daughter lacks that profound aggression, which is the whole reason we loved this crazy lady in the first place. Instead, we get a litany of annoying rock ballads and anguished modern-rock pap, plus one extremely ill-advised affectation: Just as fellow recovering addict Eminem inexplicably adopted a Jamaican patois on 2009's Relapse, here Love cops Bob Dylan's folk-codger cadence on at least four songs.

It's absolutely bizarre, bordering on self-parody, like Julianne Moore's Boston accent on 30 Rock, except serious. Through headphones, it's nearly unbearable, though during a mid-April listening party at New York City Fall Out Boy-affiliated bar Angels & Kings, that feigned nasal rasp didn't sound so bad.

But the joint's speakers couldn't save the despairing soliloquy "Letter to God" — woof. Linda Perry supposedly wrote this as a sequel to Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful," but it sounds like a cruel prank, with Love the too-proud Emperor, Perry the swindling weaver and this heaven-sent telegram sewn from a brilliance everyone else is allegedly too stupid to see. It reminds us of Kermit the Frog's "It's Not Easy Being Green."

Will the real Courtney Love please stand up?
Universal Records
Will the real Courtney Love please stand up?

See Hole live. You will be entertained. Don't worry: They'll play much of what you want to hear, including the exhilaratingly perfect scream-along "Violet"; fist-pumping, trash-culture-skewering "Celebrity Skin"; and, if you're lucky, the enraged, Kim Gordon-produced triumph "Pretty on the Inside."

Nor will Love disappoint with her reliably loony onstage banter: At that SXSW performance, the widow Cobain concluded Daughter's "Pacific Coast Highway" thus:

"I like that song. It reminds me of sex. You know, fucked-up hate sex. Like when you punch. You guys know what I'm talking about — when you fuck someone and then you punch them right in the middle of it: 'I fucking hate yoouuuuuu! Yeah, this is so good, okay, baby, fuck you!'"

Courtney Love "is the girl who won't shut up," Deborah Frost wrote in The Village Voice back in 1992. "She is all the things that should not be, and she shoves it, raw, right in your face."

Chaos begets chaos theory, and in 18 years, nothing about her has really changed — and that is exactly the point.

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