America's Sweetheart (album) - Reception


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Drowned In Sound
The Guardian
Pitchfork Media
Robert Christgau A−
Slant Magazine
Yahoo! Music

Upon its release, critical response to America's Sweetheart ranged from mixed to positive. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic stated that "since her solo debut is so sloppy and predictable it suggests her music is more bluster than meaning" and that " trying to snarl like it's 1994, yet wrapping herself in a glossy production from 1998 while relying on songs that are an amalgam of bad L.A. punk and bad L.A. metal." Spin reacted more positively towards the album, referring to it as a "jaw-dropping act of artistic will", and additionally, Drowned in Sound praised the album's pop sound, referring to it as "pop nous strangling choir-tainted punk rock" and compared it to Marilyn Manson, The Rolling Stones and Annie Lennox amongst others. English newspaper The Guardian noted the lyrics as the strong point of the album calling them "hedonistic to the last" and "some of the boldest ever recorded." NME also published a mixed review stating that the album "sounds slight and rather ragged" but "never less than compelling" and that "the production covers everything in a superficial glosshile." Pitchfork Media reacted negatively to the album stating that "America's Sweetheart demonstrates a fairly monstrous decline in both quality and conviction" and that it was "retaining all the dated grunge crunch." Similarly, Rolling Stone suggested that, "for people who enjoy watching celebrities fall apart, America's Sweetheart should be more fun than an Osbournes marathon." However, respected music reviewer Robert Christgau praised the album, saying that America's Sweetheart "delivers an album as invigorating in its contempt for rock professionalism as Neil Young's Tonight's the Night."

Commercially, the album was considered a failure, selling only 86,000 worldwide in its first three months of release. As of 2006, it had sold only 130,000 copies in the United States and 250,000 copies worldwide. The first single taken from the album, "Mono", was released in February 2004 and the song experienced some radio airplay, peaking at number 18 in the Billboard charts and number 41 in the UK. The album's second single, "Hold on to Me", peaked at number 39 on the billboard Modern Rock Tracks, and was a minor hit in several countries.

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