The Real Ramona

Throwing Muses is a two-woman, two-man Boston band whose out-there arrangements and, um, enigmatic lyrics have, over their three-album career, endeared them to critics and a small number of big fans. There’s good news and bad news about their latest, The Real Ramona. The good news is that producer Dennis Herring, who has done yeoman’s work cleaning up the sound of the quirky San Francisco band Camper Van Beethoven, performs similar magic with the Muses. He gives songs like the ghostly, moving ”Graffiti” its plangent guitar and spacious quality. The bad news is that the group doesn’t live up to its production. While they’re clearly trying to progress — no more self-indulgent epics like their earlier nine-minute ”Soul Soldier” — a lot of the time they sound like late-’70s New Wave acts that time has left behind. The second half of the album is almost a complete waste, and the lyrical pretentiousness of ”Counting backwards/I count you in” or the, um, enigmatic air of ”I throw an egg at this wall/I watch it break and slide” make it difficult to care whether the group has anything to say. C+

The Real Ramona
  • Music