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It's a Shame About Ray



In the grunge years, Evan Dando was too much of a heartthrob to be taken seriously, and what he did for alternative rock can be equated to what Fabio did for romance novels. At the time Lemonheads' earth-toned love songs were passé compared with the angst and feedback coming out of Seattle.

Sixteen years after it first appeared, It's a Shame About Ray is a restrained blend of melancholy rock and country songwriting. The two-minute-plus song lengths are all that remain of the group's prior penchant for Replacements-style jangle punk. The sharp hooks in the title track and "Bit Part" are worthy of giving the album another listen. But the schmaltzy croon of "My Drug Buddy," and a DVD of painfully dated videos and dopey Australian tour footage serve as harsh reminders why Lemonheads were so easily forgotten. 2 stars.

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