clap clap blog: we have moved

Monday, February 09, 2004
Rob's right: it woulda been nice if we could hear those messages fer real. (It is, perhaps, a measure of C-Lo's savvy that she did not, in fact, ring DeRo or anyone who might have posted the messages, but instead left 'em with staid-ish Times-er Strauss.) But regardless, there's a whole bunch of great stuff in Neal Strauss' review of the new Courtney album:

  • "The first question people ask about the new album, "America's Sweetheart" (Virgin), is, "Who wrote it?" It is an obnoxious question — one that would probably not be asked of a male musician. Ms. Love is not only one of the least respected rock stars working today, but she also has to deal with — if not embody — the double standard applied to women who live the rock 'n' roll lifestyle."

  • "Linda Perry is simply the Dr. Dre to her Eminem...Ms. Love has more in common with Eminem than she has with most rockers. Both are loose cannons, a gossip columnist's dream: they can dish it out but they can't always take it. And so in the studio, the personal becomes the musical. Both use their angst-riddled, self-obsessed songs to answer critics past and future. And both tend to be smarter than their tormentors."

  • "The CD begins with the bellicose "Mono," in which Ms. Love demands one last shot at the rock pantheon. "Hey God, you owe me one more song," she sings, "so that I can prove to them that I'm so much better than him." Though the pronoun has already been attributed to several different rock stars (from Kurt Cobain to Fred Durst), the lyric sheets add a clue with the words, "Him . . . hmmmm . . . Eminem?"" [More of a great revelation than a great line, but still.]

  • "While this CD should succeed on its merits alone, the fact that it's from Ms. Love may end up making it a liability. If the same venomous rock 'n' roll came from a newer female-fronted punk band like the Distillers instead, it would be received differently. Brody Dalle of the Distillers is a fresh canvas to paint our fantasies on. But the name Courtney Love already has too many coats of paint: it polarizes music fans the way the name George Bush polarizes voters."

    This last one in particular is killer. Partially because it makes the point (which I've made myself) that critics tend to respond better to "blank slate" artists who they can paint their own interpretation on rather than having to deal with the one the artist herself suggests. But partially, too, because it points out that, while it's stupid to judge America's Sweetheart on the basis of disliking Courtney's public personality, at the same time she's smart enough to know that this is going to happen, and so in some ways she has to take responsibility for that.

    At any rate, great review.