Throwing Muses The Grotto/Throwing Muses

"I am the opposite of you,” sings Kristin Hersh on the opening track of Throwing Muses’ first album in over five years. By reforming her rock band and releasing a quiet acoustic record simultaneously, Hersh indulges her opposite sides with one personality clearly dominating the other. Considering that Throwing Muses ended on a high point with 1997’s Limbo — after which Hersh delivered her best solo album, 1999’s Sky Motel — the reunion record sounds limp and uninspired, with none of the biting fire and mysticism the Muses could conjure in their heyday. To make matters worse, the songs sound like leftovers, especially beside The Grotto, which recalls the stark beauty of her solo debut Hips and Makers. When she made that record, Hersh was discovering the beauty of acoustic music as a respite from the Muses; ten years later, perhaps she’s still doing the same. It’s too bad she had to sully the Muses’ rep to get back to that place. (4AD)