Tuesday, September 27, 2011

41. Hole, "I Think That I Would Die" (1994)


I have always been a sucker for a good drama, and among other things this delivers one of the great declarations of "Fuck you" in all of rock 'n' roll. This one's personal—well, they all are with Courtney Love, but you know what I mean—it rolls up all the grievances she forever nurses about feminist backlash and unfair and you wouldn't with anyone else and why me and low self-esteem and there should have been something about Olympia, Washington, and all the fans and sycophants not appreciative (read: ingratiating) enough, and football players, and John Cheever, and thick meat sandwiches with ketchup. The usual upchuck of association, sung calculatedly out of key. Mostly this is a locus for all the seething resentment she bore over the baby Bean and Child Protective Services and so-called friends who narc'ed her out and who knows what else. But that whole episode. On that level it's just about as authentic as I've ever heard her. That's, I believe, why the chant goes, "I want my baby / Where is the baby? / I want my baby / Who took my baby?" The mumbled, "It's / Not / Yours" before the great volcanic eruption. The point is it's cathartic, like the album, but with a particularly fine point, which somehow never seems to wear away. She really seems to mean it. For a few naked moments the self-centeredness is deliberately cast off—no doubt for self-serving motives, but done all the same. And there she is, with a great band at its peak churning away behind her, genuine: "There is no milk / There is no milk / There is no milk."

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