Review by LarryG|
2½ stars out of 4
It's always hard to figure Courtney Love out. Is she just a shamelessly
ambitious ripoff artist or a real talent as it seemed from People v. Larry Flynt or Hole's
Live Through This? Live Through This would have deserved attention even if it hadn't been
released right before Kurt Cobain's death. It was a consistent, vibrant rock record.
Some argued that she must have had considerable help from her musical genius spouse.
Whatever the reason, Celebrity Skin is a lesser work. It has flashes of brilliance,
notably the title track, a supercharged marriage of chunky power chords and girl group
hooks, which was probably the best rock song of '98. Awful is a fun piece of stupid rock.
Boys On The Radio and Malibu are very likeable pop though her allusions to her late
husband seem exploitative. But much of the record is bad, ponderous 70's rock. Her
pretentious lyrics don't benefit from the added attention the slower songs give them and
are just as annoying as her public persona.
Here's what others reviewers have to say:
"...this is a magnificent pop record....Celebrity Skin
carries the conversation beyond the traditional postpunk loop of raw
power and pretty poison, dirty glam and curdled self-loathing...."
9 (out of 10) Spin 10/98, pp.136-138