We gave it a B-
Its opaque, moody lyrics notwithstanding, Throwing Muses’ 1991 The Real Ramona was a hot-pink, zebra-striped whirligig of a record. As the band flirted with fizzy, girl-group pop, its aura of overseriousness fell away like water off lettuce leaves in a salad spinner. The disappointingly inert Red Heaven doesn’t yield so readily to the charms of centrifugal force. Lead singer/songwriter Kristin Hersh’s threadbare lyrics (”Hot things move him, I write on his wall”) could have been written by poorly designed artificial-intelligence software. The band’s glorious guitar sound wraps around songs as if it were a screen of fine metal mesh. It’s a resonant, burnished sound, but it isn’t quite enough to dress up Throwing Muses’ gloomy cloak of self-importance.