[Five Deadly Everythings]

7 Songs Meme pt. 1 – Hole’s "Awful"

Posted in music by Jef on June 24, 2008

(Tagged by NotNerdyEnough:

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring summer. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.)

Hole – “Awful”

In cleaning my room the past couple of weeks (yes, it’s taking that long and will take longer), I’ve been digging through my old CDs, and in doing so rediscovered Hole’s Celebrity Skin, which was one of my favourite albums before I became monogamous with hip-hop.

Yes, I was a grunge fan, and Celebrity Skin was a fitting bookend to that phase in my life — an album from the battered wife of the genre that, unexpectedly yet logically, stepped out of the garage into the light of California radio pop: bubblegum sounds, songs about boys breaking hearts, and killer hooks all over the fucking place.

The only damper on the album was knowing that Billy Corgan’s world-is-a-vampire claws were all over it. He had a hand in much of the songwriting and it detracted from Courtney Love’s strep-throat harmonies. I wanted this to be hers. I wanted it to be a one-woman show, a statement from an artist whose talent always got downplayed due to her close association with other, male musicians.

So looking back at the liner notes, I’m ecstatic to know that my favourite joint, “Awful”, was written by Love and is one of a pocket full of highlights untouched by Corgan — influenced by, maybe, but not written by.

It’s a lovely song, catchy as all hell but un-subversively dark. “He tastes like candy he’s so beautiful/ He’s so deep like dirty water/ God, he’s awful,” goes Love, singing way more beautifully than you’d except. Yeah sure, it’s dawn of the age of ProTools, but it’s also the undeniable sweetness of the song’s construction. You don’t need to be able to sing on-key to do this song justice — it’s that catchy. Plus, it’s thematically correct to sing it sloppily.

I believe this is the only album that bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur actually contributed to. Coupled with Eric Erlandson’s guitars it’s a wonderful smash of glitz and gutter, Love proclaiming with anthemic gusto we can break the world with one song.


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