Okay I have a confession to make – I LOVE Courtney love. There it’s out in the open, written in print. While I have spent most of my teenage years defending this fact and have never shied away from it, it still is and always will be a controversial statement. While I have only meet two or three people in my life that would agree with me here, my adoration still has gone un wavered. Now I know the woman has gone through her personal life with little to no class and is, well, a loony toon but for me what has always been the most important and influential thing about this woman is her as a musician. There is really no denying that the woman is an absolute powerhouse on stage, laying all her torment out on the line and taking us along for the ride with her. When you take away all the media focus and her bizarre public image, your left with a woman who has been through the mill, but is lucky enough to possess a brutal honesty and a raw talent so she can live through it. And that is why I feel this album is so apt and so important when talking about Love’s work.
“Live through This” was released April 12th 1994. The album was released four days after Kurt Cobain was found dead and will unfortunately forever live in the shadows of this fact. But amidst all the controversy and the physic lyrics, now years later, we can start to really appreciate how strong lyrically and musically this album is. It begins with “Violet” as harsh as most of their songs up to this point, but way more coherent than any song on “Pretty on the inside.” The grunge loud – quiet dynamic is prevalent throughout the record and really complements Love’s sweet and sour vocal style. “Softer, softest” and “Doll parts” are softer songs then what their used to and the first time we realise that even when she does calm down and take it down a notch, she still has a lot to say. The lyrics are filled with loss, betrayal and a melancholic anger something the band sadly experienced a lot of after “Live through this” was released (their bassist Kirsten Pfaff dying of a drug overdose two months later) making it all more poignant and eerie. The album became the band’s breakthrough album albeit for all the wrong reasons. The Cobain fans that didn’t take a disliking to Love, found solace in it and felt her premature pain. The media loved how the record was in synch with her personal life and hounded her for it. It would be four years before Hole released their final studio album and it seems they went from thrash to pop in that time with ease. But what will always remain is Love’s primal wail and people finding comfort in it, when all seems lost. Her albums, this one in particular, have got me through more than anyone will ever know. And for me that always and forever will be the most important thing about her.