If there’s one thing we’ve learned from recent pop culture it is that everyone loves to watch the rise and fall of Celebrities. From Britney’s Sinead O’Rebellion to Parisgate it’s as if the ultimate fate of a pop icon is to be ripped to shreds by it’s once adoring public right there on Robertson Blvd. But here comes the fun part, seeing how they put themselves back together. Because just as much as America loves a downfall it loves an embarrassing comeback even more. Every once an while though, we are in turn surprised by a true artist, although fewer and fewer are apparent in the commercial pop abyss, it’s not a legend, as Linda Perry could tell you they actually do exist.
Courtney Love is a name culturally synonymous with many things, undoubtedly an icon in her own right she has more than made her mark on the music industry, the tabloid circuit and even invaded the Golden Globes. However Love’s success did not happen overnight or in a Hollywood fairytale. She has no distant Coppola relative nor did she descend from a pop dynasty. She was in fact at war with her label, her drug addiction and her public image all at once. The widow of late legend Kurt Cobain, she has faced a constant unavoidable comparison despite her own professional accomplishments and critical accolades. Her band Hole achieved success in the mid nineties creating an army of 12 year old feminists searching for a viable role model, armed with Hello Kitty backpacks and Emily Strange stickers they are all grown up now. But the question is: Are they still listening?
Love is clean and sober…No really. Gone are the days of throwing compacts at Madonna, falling down in public or getting arrested at her own concert. I know a part of you is disappointed, not ready to part with the novelty, predicting a future misstep or public wardrobe malfunction gracing the cover of US Weekly. But it makes you wonder, are we socially conditioned to want our heroes to fail or have we just lost faith in good old second chances?
America’s Sweetheart was the tongue in cheek title of Love’s first solo album, with little marketing, a small tour and unfinished production, the sales were short of impressive though the album was well received by fans and critics alike. It seemed all too soon for an artist dealing with personal turmoil and financial strain. Suffering from a major relapse, to top it all off she was arrested for accidentally hitting a fan with a microphone stand at a free New York concert. It seemed that for Courtney catching a break just wasn’t possible. Arrested again later that year Love was sentenced to rehab losing custody of her daughter (who she maintains was always well cared for), and sight of her promising career as a musician.
Her rehab facility had no celebrity trapped door leading to the VIP section at Hyde, nor did they let her go on nature walks through Hollywood bars and clubs, believe it or not Love actually rehabilitated. Having gone back and forth from clean to sober, critics may be rolling their eyes which is why she made sure not to walk out empty handed. Her newest album Nobody’s Daughter was originally titled “The Rehab Demos” written entirely within the facility she was sentenced to on producer Linda Perry’s acoustic guitar A fusion of Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan, and Courtney’s distinctive rasp her newest record has been five years in the making, leaving Hole fans anxious for a triumphant return. Already critically acclaimed it seems that this January Courtney will be getting the second chance she has been hoping for. Judging by the demos and live sets it seems “The Queen Of Noise” is back and this time standing completely on her own. Just as significant as the yell of Courtney Love is her whisper, as she softly speaks in the song Reasons To Be Beautiful: “It is better to rise than fade away”, a spin on Cobain’s lyric implying it was better to burn out, yet another sign that Love has learned from her past and that she ready to take on her future with open arms and more than a few power chords. As far as her comeback goes she will be performing in small venues this summer but the approaching dates have yet to be announced. The world is waiting Courtney, we just hope you meet us there.
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