Auf Der Maur - Auf Der Maur - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Auf Der Maur - Auf Der Maur

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:2004-03-01

Prior to the release of this debut solo album, Melissa Auf der Maur made her name playing bass in some of the biggest bands of the 1990s, including Hole and the Smashing Pumpkins, in the process becoming one of indie rock's premier pin-ups. During that time, she built up quite a following and fan base, including several famous friends that help out on Auf der Maur: Chris Goss and Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Brandt Bjork (Kyuss), Erik Erlandson (Hole) and James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins). With such high-profile bandmates, it's no wonder that Auf der Maur sounds so big and expansive--musically, it's simply awesome, sounding not completely unlike early PJ Harvey, right down to her cutesy, coquettish singing (she doesn't have a great voice, but she makes the most of it). It's a shame, then, that the lyrics frequently don't cut it. At their best, they're fairly unobtrusive (indeed, first single "Follow the Waves" transcends its lyrics with the magical power of rock). At their worst, they're downright cringeworthy--Auf der Maur's friends should have wrestled the rhyming dictionary from her on tracks such as "Head Unbound" (What rhymes with "unbound"? How about "down" and "ground", and just repeat them over and over?) and "I'll Be Anything You Want". Auf der Maur isn't a terrible debut album, but at this stage in her career--and working at this level--much better was expected. --Robert Burrow

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