Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Hole: Nobody's Daughter [Mercury, 2010]
Most people don't like her, and actually, I don't either. So I can't claim you owe it to yourself to enjoy Courtney Love's much-delayed first-album-since-2004. Nor even that these songs cast a revealing light of her scabrous persona--beyond "Pacific Coast Highway" ("I'm overwhelmed and undersexed") and "Never Go Hungry" ("I don't care what I have to pretend"), they're typical wails of punk-schooled rage from "Skinny Little Bitch" to "Letter to God." Thing is, I can use some new punk rage in my life, and unless you're a fan of Goldman Sachs and BP Petroleum, so can you. What's more, better it come from a 45-year-old woman who knows how to throw her weight around than from the zitty newbies and tattooed road dogs who churn most of it out these days. I know--for her, BP Petroleum is just something else to pretend about. But the emotion fueling her pretense is cathartic nevertheless. A-