Hole: Live Through This (1994)
But I pulled it out this morning and... y'know, it's still a f*cking monster. A bit dated perhaps, with that mid-'90s grunge/riot grrrl aesthetic, but the songs remain unique and simply explosive. Love's efforts to sand off some of the abrasiveness of her early recordings give the album a more balanced sound, with both rockers and ballads, and a few that bridge the gap with the famed Pixies-like loud-soft-loud dynamic (most notably opener "Violet," still a stunningly powerful track after all this time). "Miss World" and "Doll Parts" are a great blend of Love's anthemic statements and catchy, polished hard rock tunes. Yeah, it's hard not to pick apart the songs for insights into the Love/Cobain mystique, but with the passage time they're (a little) easier to hear them as simply unusually frank, powerful songs.
Her cover of the Young Marble Giants' "Credit In The Straight World" converts minimalist post-punk artiness into almost radio-friendly alt.rock without losing the thread. And my favorite, closer "Rock Star," adds some lighter fun to what is at times a pretty chilling record (the sexual violence of songs like "Asking For It" still pretty stark and, alas, still painfully relevant).