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Melissa Auf Der Maur: Auf Der Maur

Melissa Auf Der Maur: Auf Der Maur

Release Date:2004

By Raymond Cummings | Posted 6/9/2004

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but whether you call it homage, unconscious osmosis, or a stylistic appropriation, it's still stealing. Tight as the Strokes' "12:51" is, it's total Blondie, more likely to have listeners jonesing for Parallel Lines than for jumping Julian Casablancas' bones.

If anyone deserves to get away with a few nicks and fleeces, it's Melissa Auf Der Maur. The redheaded Canadian spent the early '90s woodshedding in underground band Tinker, then played cleanup bassist for two of alt-rock's biggest names (Hole's latter half, the Smashing Pumpkins' last gasp). Auf Der Maur's solo debut is less remarkable for who is in her CD changer than for how she ferociously makes these thefts her own while celebrating their sources.

Mutual-debasement dalliance "I'll Be Anything You Want" is only a few electro beats away from turning Garbage on. "Head Unbound" simmers in disembodied "ahhs" and goth-era Pumpkins synth backwash. Worthy of Cee-Lo's throat, lead single "Followed the Waves" packs enough pointed, charged scorn for a Frances Bean custody hearing. A raw, smoldering Nirvana blare rips open "Beast of Honor," where our hostess cryptically indulges a reoccurring gustatory/erotic fixation: "I'm a taste-test/ at the beast fest/ Got your crest on my breast," she snarls as the song whips itself into a Throwing Muses lather--one of blessed many here. Bringing up the rear is a veritable Who's Who of modern rock that helps kics this triumphant disc into the stratosphere, where it deserves to soar and roar.

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