There was a point, just after the turn of the century, when Brody Dalle looked most likely to inherit Courtney Love's crown of thorns.

Her slurry growl led the punk assault on three albums by The Distillers and she even delivered a bit of grungy celeb scandal when she divorced Rancid's Tim Armstrong in favour of Queens Of The Stone Age's Josh Homme. A decade or so later, her first release under her own name (albeit with pals like Shirley Manson dropping into the studio) doesn't really thrust her back centre stage. Only on the likes of Underworld and the gloriously back-to-basics second half of Meet The Foetus/Oh The Joy do some of the old hardcore bones poke through the album's noticeably more commercial surface skin. Attempts at genre fusion don't always work - Carry On is a rock wail over a tinny Don't You Want Me beat, topped off by a piano solo from Ultravox's Vienna - while the weakness of her singing voice (as opposed to shouty one) is all too apparent on chamber ballad I Don't Need Your Love.

Alan Morrison

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