Certain Songs #611: Hole – “Doll Parts”

Hole Doll+Parts Album: Live Through This
Year: 1994

Perfectly capturing that disassociation when you like someone and you’re not sure they like you back, “Doll Parts” features drums that continually start and stop, like when you’re at a party or a show and you keep starting to walk over to talk that person, but then you catch yourself, and turn back around.

It’s also got some of Courtney Love’s most iconic lyrics.

I want to be the girl with the most cake
I love him so much it just turns to hate
I fake it so real, I am beyond fake
And someday, you will ache like I ache

Every single one of the lines in that chorus could its own song, but of course the most famous is probably the most damming: “I fake it so real, I am beyond fake” gets right down to the essence of not just Courtney, but art in general.

Right now, I’m just faking that I have anything new and profound to say about this song beyond “I really love it,” but that’s a given, and the point of these posts is why I like the songs, so I’m making with the fakery in the blind hope that I stumble across something, anything that will make sense.

I do this a lot, and I think that’s one of the things that attracts me to Courtney Love’s best songs: the feeling that she’s desperately searching to express something real in the songs, but at the same time, she’s so incredibly self-aware that she’s always putting on a show, knowing damn well that we know she’s putting on a show.

It’s a dizzying level of meta, and in the overly sincere pop moment of the mid-1990s, that kind of meta — totally real, ironically — was utterly verboten, and just gave the Courtney-haters the kind of ammunition that they needed.

Official video for “Doll Parts”

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