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|1. Lightning Is My Girl|
|2. Followed The Waves|
|3. Real A Lie|
|4. Head Unbound|
|5. Taste You|
|6. Beast Of Honor|
|7. I'll Be Anything You Want|
|8. My Foggy Notion|
|9. Would If I Could|
|10. Overpower Thee|
|11. Skin Receiver|
|12. I Need I Want I Will|
|13. Followed The Waves|
What's apparent is that Auf Der Maur is no longer the bassist in the shadows. After stints as a member of Hole, led by the unpredictable and incendiary Courtney Love and with the Smashing Pumpkins on their farewell tour, there is no surprise that she wants to establish herself as a credible artist.
Her debut offering, titled simply Auf der Maur, takes reference from both of these legendary members of rock's hall of fame. But essentially the album is a lesson in how to get by with a little help from your friends. Production help and inspiration comes from Chris Goss of Queens of the Stone Age. There is the additional presence on guitar from the aforementioned band's Nick Olivera and Josh Homme and Smashing Pumpkins' James Iha. Certainly the trios particularly distinctive gritty rock sound is found in abundance on tracks such as "Real A Lie".
Excellent first single "Follow the Waves" features pounding drums and spiky guitar riffs, like the Pumpkins in their prime. The album is full of various influences. Auf der Maur pouts and broods like Shirley Manson in "Head Unbound". The soaring harmonies and metallic guitar of "Taste You Sounds" is not unlike PJ Harvey. There is even the Dubstar and Brit Pop-esque "Would If I Could".
Essentially this is a sound debut offering with guitar riffs and growling vocals from the Smashing Pumpkins school of rock. Curiously the album's downfall is not that it simply lacks originality but that it also teeters undecidedly on the boundary between epic and nondescript. She needs to truly propel herself away from a past that threatens to eclipse her sound. --Matt Wicks
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In my opinion, there really isn't a dud on this whole album. The tracks run the gamut from radio friendly pop/rock "Would if I Could", "Taste You" to driving rock "Real A Lie", to the best alt-rock I've ever come across "Followed the Waves", "Head Unbound", "Lightning is My Girl", "Beast of Honor", "Skin Receiver". I'll admit that lyrically, I don't often get what she's saying, but it SOUNDS really cool, if that makes any sense? Skin Reciever is a good example of this - you'll see what I mean when you buy this excellent CD!
Melissa wrote almost all the songs on the album and called up her good friends in bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Tinker and Hole to help her out in the studio and add their bit of musicianship. It's nice to have so many friends willing to help out someone who's obviously very well-respected in her own right.
Not only should Auf der Maur be listened to for the driving, bombastic, ethereal piece of artistic rock that it is, but we should all support an artist who made this album by paying for it with her own money even before having a label to distribute it.Read more ›
An earlier reviewer referenced Tool, but the closest album to this that I can think of is "Mer de Noms" by "A Perfect Circle".
Less fraught than Hole, less weird than Smashing Pumpkins, Melissa Auf Der Maur's debut album is classy and refined by comparison but no less honest or touching and while the singing is by no means great, it suits the songs.
A fine contemporary heavy rock album; fairly accessible but with a site more gravitas than the likes of Nickelback.
It opens with a bang in the swoopy, searing, catchy "Lightning is My Girl," which adds a rather confusing spoken interlude before the sweeping buildup of "Followed the Waves." From there on, she gets into the cycling hard rocker "Real A Lie," the softer "Taste You," the bass-heaving roaring "Beast of Honor," and the playful rocker "I'll Be Anything You Want." It rounds off with the sprawling "I Need I Want I Will," which starts on an ominous gothic note, before falling into silence, and blossoming again.
Listening to this album, it's not hard to see why Melissa Auf Der Maur was in the Smashing Pumpkins -- she has the heavy, roaring complexity that many other rockers could benefit from. There's an air of confidence around "Auf De Maur," which seems to come from Auf Der Maur's extensive experience, and her undeniable talent as a bassist and singer.
Auf Der Maur has a solid voice that rises above her music. Don't expect her to do any vocal gymnastics, but her vocals are assured and confident, as if she's fully in tune with her music. Her songwriting needs lots of work ("Take one look at your cook/Feed yourself, I'm on a hook"), but it has some raw promise ("I'll see you in my dreams/Electrified and cherry red") and very evocative imagery.
She was also the bassist in both the Smashing Pumpkins and Hole, so needless to say she plays a mean bass on her own album -- complex, dark, heavy, and sinuously flexible.Read more ›