I'll be the first one to say that I've never been the biggest fan of Courtney Love. She's not an easy to person to like. I do think that she gets unfairly slammed for her involvement with Kurt Cobain and I really think it's one of the reasons why her career has had the trajectory it has. While she has her fans, to be sure, she will always be known as Kurt Cobain's widow and that completely overshadows anything she does that might actually be, like, good.
And I'm sure that Billy Corgan would not be involved with her were she not actually talented. At least a little bit. I don't believe that he wrote her songs. He's too.. he's too Billy Corgan to not take credit for something rightfully his. While her personal life is an unholy mess and she does a great job of embarrassing herself in public on a regular basis (and just when you think she's gotten cleaned up) every so often I hear something that she's involved with or see a movie with her in it and it's like you don't even see the mess that is Courtney Love. She does this really great job of conveying particular emotions and she's not afraid of being vulnerable and there's something admirable about that, regardless how you feel about her as a person.
On a whim the other day (my little sister sent me an iTunes gift card for my Birthday) I download the song "Malibu" off of Celebrity Skin. I think this is one of the songs where you can really hear how talented she actually is. When she sings, you feel everything that she says... the anguish, the hope, the resignation, the anger and the blame. All of it. It's like she goes through all five stages of grief in less than four minutes. And if Billy Corgan wrote it, as some have suggested, then. He wrote a damn good song about watching someone absolutely implode. How'd you get so burned when you're barely on fire?
I think that music is missing more Courtney Loves... I've said this before but, the mid-90's really had so many options for female musicians, be they vocalists or otherwise. They were tough, they might have been bitches, but they totally owned it. I never realized how empowering that was until I realized how few counterparts we have to that now. Not to say that Courtney Love is any great role model. But, would a man in her position have been as crucified as she has? No. And in the long run, I think music is better off for having had Shirley Manson and Courtney Love and Liz Phair.