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Melissa Auf der Maur - Out of Our Minds

by Kevin Wierzbicki

It's been about six years since Auf der Maur has put out new music and her sound has evolved considerably. Perhaps it's just a natural progression or maybe it's a purposeful effort to distance herself from her days with Hole and the Smashing Pumpkins. The overall vibe is progressive and jammy; on instrumental number "Lead Horse" she tunes into a bass line that's right out of Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold" but the rest of the song sparkles like U2. "Isis Speaks" has underpinnings of more traditional Irish music in it's intro but it also borrows heavily from the U2 songbook, slowing down the melody from "I Will Follow" and even sprinkling in some chimes as that song did. But those tunes are more homage than rip-off; Auf der Maur has perfected the art of understatement in her vocals and the end result is that she can affect an otherworldly quality that makes for interesting listening. It seems that in her past work Auf der Maur spent a lot of time trying for hit singles; here she pretty much limits that type of effort to one cut, the well-crafted "Follow the Map." The expansion of her sound continues with the Grace Slick-like "1000 Years" and a stunning and completely unexpected duet with Glenn Danzig on the folky "Father's Grave." Out of Our Minds is by far Auf der Maur's most cohesive and listenable work.

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