Free Music EP (Throwing Music)

For the first four spins, 50FootWave's Free Music EP isn't as remarkable as the circumstances behind its release. Former Throwing Muses frontwoman Kristin Hersh posted the five songs as free downloads on www.throwingmusic.com, complete with artwork and lyrics, asking only that fans listen, play for their friends, and maybe make a PayPal donation to the band's virtual tip jar.

Free Music isn't the punky affair that 50FootWave's prior two releases were, though the power trio's songs are still far closer to the Muses' deep-album cuts than to Hersh's acoustic solo work. As always, the lyrics are unmistakably Hersh. Seething and tense, she sings songs about realistic love (as opposed to real love). For a mother of four who's been married her entire adult life, love is amazing and dramatic, but never nice. "I love you like a bitch's son," she snarls in "Pretty Ugly." This bold experiment is worth your time. After a few listens, you'll realize it's worth your money too.

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