If You ‘Live Through This’…


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“Live Through This” by Hole was released on April 12, 1994.

“Live Through This” is Hole’s second studio album. This alternative rock album was released on April 12, 1994.

Hole was formed in 1989 by singer Courtney Love and guitarist Eric Erlandson. The band had many drummers and bassists, but during the recording of this album, it had drummer Patty Schemel and bassist Kristen Pfaff. They are one of the most successful rock bands fronted by a woman in history.

This album deals with themes such as violence against women, obsessiveness with beauty standards and motherhood. There are also recurring mentions of milk throughout album, often referred to as “sick” or “sour.”

The album opens with its most commercially successful song, “Violet.” The song was written about a relationship Love had in the early ‘90s. I can see the theme of violence against women as well as exploitation come through on this album with the line, “When they get what they want, and they never want it again.”

Violence is also further explored on two of my favorite tracks “Asking for It” and “Jennifer’s Body.” I feel that the titles of both speak for themselves well, but in “Asking for It,” the lyrics say, “If you live through this with me, I swear that I will die for you,” implying that what she endured was very traumatic. I interpret “Jennifer’s Body” as a girl who is murdered by a man that was obsessed with her and the last line, “Now she’s mine,” supports that perfectly.

Beauty standards are addressed in “Plump,” which mentions milk as well. The most obviously stab at the beauty industry in “Plump” is “They say I’m plump but, I throw up all the time” talking about how they push eating disorders on young girls. As for milk, it says, “Your milks in my mouth, it makes me sick,” which I think it is probably a metaphor for the grossly unattainable “heroin chic” beauty standards they had in the ‘90s, but I think that it can still be applied to beauty standards now.

Later, there is “Credit in the Straight World.” The straight world is the sober, perfect world, very far from the real world. It talks about how credit in the straight world is much easier to get than in the real world, but also how the straight world strips people of their human qualities to make them seem perfect.

Motherhood is addressed in “I Think That I Would Die,” in which Love talks about her and her husband at the time, Kurt Cobain, having to go through custody battles to keep their daughter. The line “I want my baby. Who took my baby?” explains this well. I think this song goes very well with “Credit in the Straight World” because mostly the song is referring to drugs and addiction, and that was the entire reason they were having a custody battle.

When I hear people talk about women in rock, it is always “I can’t listen to that; all she does is scream,” or “Why is she so angry?” and I think the answer is obvious: women have never been taken seriously in anything and are angry that nothing seems to be changing. With that, it is safe to say that “Live Through This” is a piece of feminist art that says and screams everything it needs to and more in 38 short minutes.