Courtney Love - America's Sweetheart (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Courtney Love

America's Sweetheart (2004)


Courtney Love returns to the music scene with America's Sweetheart, a cleverly titled shot at regaining her celebrity from Court TV and the LAPD, among others. The woman's had more drama in her life in the past decade or so than most of us will ever experience, and that honestly makes her a better songwriter than most have expected.

Doesn't mean she can sing, though.

America's Sweetheart is actually surprisingly solid, if not solidly unsurprising. Album opener "Mono" sounds as if it is a Distillers b-side [it's getting to the point where it's hard to tell if Brody is copying Courtney still or vice versa]. "But Julian, I'm a Little Bit Older Than You" is a pop-punk romp dedicated to one Mr. Casablancas of the Strokes. It's songs like these that actually show Love's true personality - crass, rude, and unabashedly open and upfront.

The rest of the album could benefit from this kind of energy, but tends to lose it for a good portion of it's middle tracks. Too many of the songs aim for the midtempo nu-ballad style [think moshing mixed with lighter holding] that Love simply can't support with her garbled alto voice.

Courtney does deserve some credit, though, as she definitely is trying to perform at her best - nothing on this album comes off as half-assed due to lack of effort, it simply comes off as half-assed due to lack of talent. America's Sweetheart is a decent solo debut from one of rock's most charismatic frontwomen, and if you're a fan of the grungier side of Hole and wish they never would have made Celebrity Skin, this disc will be right up your alley.

Listen to five songs off the album here.