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Rhythm & Views

Melissa Auf der Maur

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Former Hole and Smashing Pumpkins bassist Melissa Auf der Maur has decided to move to stage-center with the release of the simply titled Auf der Maur.

A Perfect Circle's Jeordie White and James Iha, Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, and Paz Lenchantin, among others, lend a musical helping hand on the album's 12 tracks.

For the most part, Auf der Maur has a poppy-alternative rock sound that is both retro and hard. Vocally, Auf der Maur displays passion and the ability to extract various emotions from listeners--similar to fellow female vocalists Maria Sjoholm (ex-Drain STH) and Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil). Auf der Maur doesn't sing with wide-range vocal stylings; she mainly flows in a preaching, or spoken-word, manner.

The album's opening track, "Lightning is My Girl," contains a catchy but dark aura and is followed by the well-orchestrated "Followed the Waves," the best track on the album. Dealing with heartbreak, Auf der Maur proclaims, "He's a drunken, gambling man / Dealing with the hands of desire's thing / I'm gonna shuffle his deck clean," at the track's end.

Sadly enough, Auf der Maur quickly runs out of steam after the first two songs. The remaining 10 tracks seem as if Auf der Maur scattered for album fillers.

"Real a Lie" sounds like a leftover Hole tune given away by Courtney Love, and other tracks, like "Would If I Could" and "I'll Be Anything You Want," grow continuously annoying, simplistic and predictable.

Lyrical themes are stuck on love, heartbreak and moving past relationships. Actual lyrics are either soft and un-artful (e.g. "Lots of fish in the sea, but is it her or me?"), or were seemingly written when Auf der Maur was a teenager dealing with her first crush.

For an album that had a promising start, Auf der Maur sank quicker than the Titanic.

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