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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

451 of 1001 Albums: Hole's Celebrity Skin

 Hole is one of the most famous female fronted bands. They may get more attention for the acts of their singer, Courtney Love, than they do for the music sometimes. This album contains some of their most popular work including, the title song, Celebrity Skin. The album did surprise me, and it's one of the more enjoyable albums I listened to in recent times from the list.

History: The band was returning from multiple different projects, and began work on their third album, Celebrity Skin. You can tell the difference between the other albums in a new polished sound, and you can hear a lot of personal changes since the band found fame. The release of the album would get them positive attention for their new endeavor in a more pop driven sound.

It's rare that a band can shift sounds slightly and find as much success with it. While there is still the alternative rock driven ballads of the tunes, a more glazed pop sound does drive the beat of the songs. Personally, I've always enjoyed that polished sound, but understandably it's not everyone's taste.

I did say this album surprised me, and it is true. I wasn't familiar with Hole's songs, which is odd because I've heard their music for so long. Celebrity Skin still gets a lot of airplay, and yet I had no idea it was them. This album is good outside of that song though. They show a range of diversity in the music arrangement, and no one song sounds the same.

Love has a distinctive voice that leads the song strongly, and it does seem like an ode to 80's punk rock, female artist. She also though has a roughness to her voicing that gives the songs emotion and attitude. There are elements of it's grunge inspiration.

Another notable aspect of the album is the guitar work. I think without it a lot of rhythm and even instrumental prominence would have been missing. For fans of Hole's previous work I think it gives them an aspect they can still enjoy. The lyrical content also show cases a lot of what had been happening in the bands' personal lives. They had went through loss and the increased fame, and you can the impact it had even in their music through the lyrics, and the way the music is performed.

The album also highlights the music of the 90's, and as this album was nearing a release toward the end of that decade it sums up how certain sounds and genres had merged before the turn of the century.

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