Out There

There are some remarkable moments here, when the music matches the lyrics matches the delivery and the whole thing blurs into a extraordinary whole. "Reasons to Be Beautiful" is almost whispered punk rock; "Boys on the Radio" (originally written about Evan Dando) celebrates and castrates rock and roll all at once; and "Heaven Tonight" is all swirling harmonies and chiming guitars and so very, well, L.A. And maybe this is a brilliant record; maybe it's just too hard to separate the person making it from the music contained on it--which is Courtney's genius, and her curse. As one friend said the other day, "It's a good record by anyone else, but a bad record from Hole." Why? He couldn't explain.

--Robert Wilonsky

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