The Bob Mould Renaissance continues with "Beauty & Ruin" (Merge), picking up where the outstanding "Silver Age" left off in combining hard rock and memorable melodies.
Mould captures both hope and despair well here, raging like he did in his Hüsker Dü days in "Kid With Crooked Face" and "Tomorrow Morning," picking up some Foo Fighters-styled streamlining on "Little Glass Pill." The single "I Don't Know You Anymore" and wound-up generation-gap lament "Hey Mr. Grey" are as irresistibly catchy as anything from Sugar's heyday.
However, it's the wrenchingly lovely future sing-along "Let the Beauty Be" that shows Mould continues to grow artistically beyond his already legendary past.
"Beauty & Ruin"
THE GRADE A
BOTTOM LINE Finding the prettiness in pain and rage.