Once upon a time there was a group called Throwing Muses. The lead Muse was the angelic Kristin Hersh. Since leaving the Throwing Muses a few years ago, she has had an uneven solo career. Her latest record, Sky Motel , although a bit uneven, shows a nice departure from both the Muses and her folkier stuff like Hips and Makers . Sky Motel features her lovely voice and quirky songwriting wrapped around decidedly more sophisticated arrangements than some of Ms. Hersh’s fans may be used to. Some of the songs, like “Echo,” “Fog,” and “Caffeine” are quite wonderful, but other songs on the record are jarringly dull. Despite the slow spots, the highlights far outshine them pulling this album a slight notch above the norm.