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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

It's A Shame About Ray

The Lemonheads

1992

It's A Shame About Ray

Album Summary

It's a Shame About Ray is the fifth album by American alternative rock band the Lemonheads, released on June 2, 1992. The album was produced by the Robb Brothers. At the time of principal recording, the band consisted of Evan Dando (lead vocals, guitar), Juliana Hatfield (bass, backing vocals) and David Ryan (drums). Though not originally on the album, the band's cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" was added to the album in later pressings after it had become a major worldwide radio hit, and it features a later lineup of the band with Nic Dalton on bass.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.15

Votes

5730

Genres

  • Indie
  • Rock
Reviews
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Fri Jun 04 2021
4

It's a great example of early 90s alt-rock. It really is. Only problem is I can point to a dozen bands that sound exactly the same from the same era. But, for what it is, it's good and deserves a place on the list.

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Tue Jul 06 2021
1

They're Pavement if Pavement didn't want to live the high-stakes art life and retired to the suburbs, strumming polite tunes in the unborn baby's room-cum-study, dolefully reflecting on what could have been. Basically, the Jason Bateman character in Juno.

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Tue Jul 06 2021
1

If playing the same song over and over again qualifies you for the 1001 list, then baby, I’m in!

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Thu Feb 25 2021
4

Day 38 of Albums You Must Hear!! When I was a kid, I loved Lemonheads. Not the band, the candy. I would buy them almost every day, I loved the sour centers! This assessment isn’t about candy, however, it’s about a band from the 90’s that were also called Lemonheads. I wasn’t familiar with this band before now, or their album released in 1992, titled It’s a Shame About Ray. From the very first song, Rockin Stroll, I instantly knew I would like this band. Evan Dondo, band creator and singer, has a great voice that does a fantastic job of staying in its own lane, without trying to wow the listener.. The melodies throughout this album are great! Lemonheads remind me of other bands of the 90’s that had more commercial success, and while I don’t know the story behind this band, it seems Lemonheads had a shit ton of unfulfilled potential. Title song, It’s a Shame About Ray, is very catchy and a well executed diddy. Kitchen is a song that could’ve been the show tune of a great 90’s sitcom, and I mean that as a compliment. (I also love the bongos on this song). The biggest song for Lemonheads was their cover Simon & Garfunkel’s Mrs. Robinson. I actually remember hearing this version back in the day and loved it then and still love it now! (It was featured in Wayne’s World 2 and later on, in The Wolf of Wall Street). To be honest, I actually prefer the Lemonheads version to S&G’s, the rock drums and electric guitar riffs give it so much life, almost surfer music-ish. Shaky Ground is a very personal song that I suspect is about drug use, maybe something else? I’m really glad I got to experience this album, it is a definite 100% must hear! If you’re a fan of The Lemonheads, please tell me which album to listen to next from them, I plan on hearing more from them! Please share your thoughts, memories, and opinions!!

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Thu Apr 08 2021
5

More to them than just Mrs Robinson. I liked the easy tunes with lyrics that were deeper and darker

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Tue May 31 2022
3

3.2 - “Hey man, it’s Sunday morning around 10:30. Thanks again for letting me borrow your stapler to put together the last of those zines. Listen, I’m about to throw on some cargo shorts and head over to the quad with the boombox. Been digging this new Lemonheads album. I’m bringing a hacky sack and my devil sticks, too. You know, just chilling like a villain. If you get this, maybe grab that Spin Doctors CD if that’s coolio? Alright, brotha, come by the quad if you can, otherwise leave a message on my answering machine. Catch you on the flip side. Peace!”

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

Sound like something I would have love when I was 15

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Wed Jan 12 2022
5

You really hit my sweet spot today. This was my absolute favorite album in '92-'93, one I still pull out to hear from time to time. It's a perfect little musical gem of that moment in time, one that has held up beautifully over the past 30 years. This album is full of edgy power pop, with a great mix of melodic, bittersweet toe tappers and muscular, energetic rockers. It has those ragged, grungy edges that made it fit in so well in its time. There is a nice interplay of jangly and jagged guitars burning at the edges that keep any of these songs from getting too pretty. The mood of the album goes a level deeper than most power pop, with a strangely cheerful malaise, conveyed through some wonderful, catchy hooks and thoughtful lyrics. It never gets overly dark or dour though. Some of Evan Dando’s lyrics may hint at dissatisfaction and restlessness, but the more pensive and personal songs like “Rudderless” or “Confetti” live easily alongside songs that are just pure fun like “Rockin Stroll” and “Alison’s Starting to Happen.” Dando delivers the lyrics perfectly, with a warm, sometimes slightly wistful and bittersweet vocal. He doesn’t convey the detachedness or irony of some of his contemporaries, so the lyrics come across as very heartfelt. Juliana Hatfield’s brief vocal appearances are like a little lemon zest on your pasta, bright and unexpected. I find myself really enjoying "Hannah & Gabi" today, which wasn't a song I gave much thought to in ‘92. It’s actually one of the best songs on the album, and probably the best musically executed song on here. The slide guitar on that song is really gorgeous. I did not know until today that it was the amazing Jeff "Skunk" Baxter playing on that song. Every song on here is terrific, with no filler. The flow of the album is crisp and concise, clocking in at around 33 minutes if you include “Mrs. Robinson.” The Simon & Garfunkel cover that was added to later versions of the album is doesn’t add a thing, but still sounds pretty great. The cover of “Frank Mills” from Hair is actually very sweet and engaging. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): Confetti, Hannah & Gabi, Rudderless, It's a Shame About Ray, The Turnpike Down, My Drug Buddy, Rockin Stroll, Kitchen, Alison's Starting to Happen, Bit Part, Ceiling Fan in My Spoon, Frank Mills, Mrs. Robinson

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Mon Feb 15 2021
4

I'm really liking this. Good power pop, nice melodies. I've not heard this before, except for their take on Mrs. Robinson.

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Mon Oct 10 2022
4

A good album throughout with four very good songs and the rest alright, a couple songs got a little repetitive, but overall a solid album with the backing track being a clear highlight of good guitar and synthesisers.

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Tue Jun 22 2021
2

Definition of "meh". When your most famous song is a cover of a song from a movie maybe you're not that good

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Thu Jul 22 2021
2

Underwhelming 90's alt rock. A bit jangle pop-y. Not my style, frankly. There are some catchy bits for the most part it just doesn't leave much of an impression on me.

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Mon Mar 22 2021
2

“Your just a shit Soul Asylum” or something

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Wed Jun 02 2021
2

This album made me feel like I was strolling down an aisle in Homebase, searching for the most commonplace of plumbing items, only to get distracted by colourful plastic kitchen appliances. It reminded me of the toys you find inside a Kellogg's cereal bag that make you feel simultaneously grateful and offended by their audacity to send you yet another piece of plastic for your lifelong it-could-come-in-handy hoarding pile.

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Wed Oct 27 2021
2

When a cover is the best song on your album you might need to rethink things

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Tue Feb 15 2022
2

Ok but dull, samey jangly pop rock. Not worth a second listen.

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Mon Mar 08 2021
5

Surprisingly solid, for how little I've heard from the band. Right up my alley.

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Tue Feb 09 2021
5

Loved this one! felt like a time machine to the kind of music I used to listen to, but somehow never these guys!

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Thu Mar 11 2021
5

Love it. Such a warm feeling album.

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Tue Jun 15 2021
5

One of the first handful of albums I ever bought with my own moolah and I've still got a huge soft spot for it. It's pretty much perfect in its own early '90s slacker pop kinda way. Although I really wish they had left it alone and not tacked Mrs. Robinson on the end in an attempt to shift a few extra units.

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Thu Apr 29 2021
5

Classic indie. Love it. BT: Rudderless, My Drug Buddy, Alison's Starting To Happen

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Fri Feb 26 2021
5

This is one of my all time favorite albums. I love it.

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Fri May 28 2021
5

Loved it

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Thu May 20 2021
5

90s goodness. I’ve heard of this band but never actually listened to their music. I love it!

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Thu Sep 09 2021
5

I love Evan Dando so, so much and this album is probably his best. The inclusion of Frank Mills from Hair, the musical makes me extra warm inside.

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Thu Oct 28 2021
5

A complete joy and a personal favourite. The threshold between teenage and adulthood on one CD.

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

Great laid-back indie pop. I think it might be worthy of the golden 5 out of 5! Hook laden singalongs. Continually came back to this album through the 90s. Pity that Evan Dando started taking himself so seriously...

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Mon Jan 17 2022
5

Ok 100

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Thu Jan 27 2022
5

good

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Wed Feb 16 2022
5

I'm only about 5 songs in but this is the most 90s rock album I've ever heard in my life. If you asked a computer to make an amalgamation of all 90s rock bands this is what it would spit out. This is right up my alley, never heard of this band but really digging it and added a few songs to my playlist. One thing I always do when a band I've never heard of comes up on this list is try and figure out which song is that one song that I've definitely heard before; super easy in this case.

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Mon Feb 21 2022
5

5 stars immediately. Sentimental favorite. Way too many memories attached to this one to pretend. But also I think these quickie songs hold up - catchy as all shit and taking you to some unusual places - at least for music made in '92. If you like this and have never listened to their album 'Hate Your Friends', give it a try.

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Wed Mar 09 2022
5

I have a real nostalgic fondness for this record. In 1991, I moved out of home and into the inner city of Sydney, hanging around Glebe and Newtown and seeing gigs at the Annandale Hotel, working in a grungy record store. As it so happens, Evan Dando was also hanging around Glebe and Newtown and the Annandale Hotel (I would see him there pretty regularly around that time) and hanging out with local musos and people who worked in record stores. and he wrote this album about that. The sound, the songs, the people in it, the videos, all reflect that time. the tunes are great, all the songs are really short and leave you wanting more. Celebrity never did Evan any favours, and he never hit this peak again. I love this record, because it is a cracking listen and because it reminds me of a special time in my youth. (I also had a crush on Alison, from the song Alison's starting to happen. She worked at another record store and played drums in a band. She was really cool, and really starting to happen).

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Fri Apr 01 2022
5

Anyone turned on to Lemonheads with Lick, Lovey, and the Favorite Spanish Dishes EP pointed to IASAR coming once Dando had the right lineup and songwriting partners. Hatfield’s backing vocals add some sweet, sometimes sad, texture to Dando’s singing. This is a perfectly crafted indie-pop album. It’s a road-trip sing-along record that can be played on repeat. Except for one thing… when I got the CD back in the day it didn’t have the Mrs. Robinson cover. I prefer that version. It wasn’t a necessary add and it’s inclusion diminished the album a bit.

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Fri Apr 01 2022
5

First off the title track is one my favorite songs of all time, it finds its way on so many of my playlists. Confetti and My Drug Buddy are great tunes as well. While it was overplayed as shit back in the 90's, Mrs Robinson is still a good cover. Last thing Juliana Hatfield's backing vocals are awesome this album. It's probably a 4 star album but I'll give it 5 stars based on the title track and the fact it reminds of being 20 again.

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Mon May 16 2022
5

This was probably the best album in their progression towards more mellow tunes. At the time it was probably an album by a traditionally grunge band that your parents wouldn’t mind you putting on. Loved it at the time and still remember all the words.

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Wed May 18 2022
5

Such a good album. I've played it three times today, including the demos.

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Wed May 18 2022
5

This will always be one of my favourite records.

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Tue Jun 07 2022
5

Such a classic album! Every song is pop rock perfection.

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Fri Jul 15 2022
5

Mrs Robinson Cover. Liked it but i wasn't blown away. Melancholy punk rock

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Fri Aug 12 2022
5

surpreendente, curti o som

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Wed Aug 31 2022
5

It's good!

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Fri Sep 02 2022
5

Good album, it gave off that early 90s grunge rock vibe. I need to listen to more 90s alternative rock albums.

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Tue Sep 13 2022
5

Flashback for me. Found myself recalling some great tunes and lyrics. Singing along very happily!

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Fri Sep 16 2022
5

A personal favourite, with great backing by Juliana Hatfield which adds so much to these songs

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Wed Nov 30 2022
5

The Lemonheads breakthrough record, It's A Shame About Ray released in 1992, gained the band a widespread following and critical acclaim and it remains their greatest achievement. The only original founding member, Evan Dando crafted a poppy alternative rock sound on this record preceding a more punk sound on their earlier albums. When this record was released, I instantly fell in love with the songs and wore the crap out of that cassette. It remains a constant in my music listening, as it not only captures something about that time period, but it's such a catchy, upbeat record it always puts a smile on my face. Personally, I rank this high as a favourite from the 90's and it's a shame they haven't released anything as good since. Evan continues to tour this record (played in it's entirety) that celebrated it's 30th anniversary this year.

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Sat Dec 03 2022
5

Fun, quick, and full of catchy tracks. Also might be the most radio friendly Grunge in my opinion. Great shit.

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Sat Dec 10 2022
5

I love this album and band. It's a shame about Evan Dando, the dude had some great musical ability and good looks, it's arguablybthat those two things should've propelled the band to bigger heights. Drugs are bad, kids. Don't fool yourselves. If I am honest this is probably a 4, or 4.5 but I have such strong feelings here that I've gotta bump it up. Several of these songs are staples across several playlists so I think it earns that bump just for that.

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Sat Jan 07 2023
5

cabeza lemon

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Thu Jan 26 2023
5

90s alt rock goodness. Loved this album when it came out the first time I heard it. Still in my "Favourites" rotation.

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Thu May 06 2021
4

very very good alt rock album, it is nothing special but the songs are catchy well written and does not bog down

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Fri Nov 20 2020
4

Honestly, a lot better than expected. I liked most of the songs.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
4

Good solid Indie/rock/pop album

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Fri Feb 19 2021
4

Great album by a good band

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Fri Feb 12 2021
4

Some good songs in there

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Fri Mar 05 2021
4

Really catchy, a bit of an edge. Gives me warm, 90s movie vibes

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Wed Jun 02 2021
4

Melancholic.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

fun album. pop grunge with notes of pop punk

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Tue Mar 09 2021
4

While I know this isn't an amazing album, it's like a big warm blanket for me. I listened to it A LOT in the 90s and listening to it for this put me instantly at ease. It speaks to a specific time in my life. My first instinct was to give a 5 because of how it made me feel, but after thinking about it more it needs to be a 4.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

4

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Wed Apr 14 2021
4

Decent ‘shoe-gazing indie’ as Karla calls it, but nothing to get too excited about apart from the Mrs Robinson cover which is great

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Mon Jun 07 2021
4

I really like this style of American punk

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Wed Jun 09 2021
4

super cool

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Mon Mar 22 2021
4

Really good

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Sun Mar 07 2021
4

A fun and jaunty album. Very simple and enjoyable. Favorite song: The Turnpike Down, Hannah and Gabi

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Wed Apr 28 2021
4

very enjoyable simple rock :)

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Wed May 12 2021
4

Very cool album! I liked every song! Going to listen to these boyz more for sure.

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Wed May 12 2021
4

Cant believe I never really listens to this band before, this rules

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Wed May 05 2021
4

Mrs Robinson, The Turnpike Down, Confetti, Hannah & Gabi, Kitchen

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Thu Jul 08 2021
4

A pretty enjoyable album and it grew on me the more I listened, despite the fact that only a few tracks really stood out for being distinctive. Of those that did, Bit Part was a really sad song with clever lyrics and Confetti was really catchy. A 3.5 stars but I’m generous and will round up.

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Thu May 20 2021
4

That 90s sound, surprised I never heard it before

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Tue Jun 15 2021
4

Great album, had never heard of this band before so was a good listen

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Tue Aug 03 2021
4

It's pretty good. I don't know, it's not my favorite. But I enjoyed the time we spent together.

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Wed Aug 11 2021
4

not bad, some cute little songs there. very nice cover to boot. I liked it, mrs. Robinson is WEIRDLY out of place though.

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Thu Sep 09 2021
4

bra grejer

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Wed Sep 22 2021
4

Classic 90's "pop-rock". Obviously Mrs Robinson the most well known / loved track here (and for good reason - a great cover) but the whole album is full of gems.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
4

God I love Juliana Hatfield.

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Sat Oct 16 2021
4

Evan Dando in topvorm! Stuk voor stuk catchy liedjes.

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Sat Oct 16 2021
4

Dit is echt jeugdsentiment. Gast kan echt wel goeie liedjes schrijven. Beetje jammer alleen dat ie zo vaak dronken op het podium staat.

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Sat Oct 16 2021
4

Jaa, super! Die andere van de lemonheads is eigenlijk nog beter, of daar heb ik iig betere/meer herinneringen aan..

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Sun Oct 17 2021
4

Cool

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Tue Oct 19 2021
4

A fun throwback to my immediate post-college years, this album is nothing complicated but filled with immediately catchy pop-rock songs in the vein of early-ish Goo Goo Dolls. The album gets going right off the bat with "Rockin Stroll" and those first four songs in particular are great. My personal favourite is "Rudderless" in that it stays relatively contained until that very end double time chorus gives a great release. If there's a negative, Evan Dando's voice gets a little tiresome for me (would have liked Juliana Hatfield to sing a few tunes - would have made this album even better, mixing it up a bit) but the good thing is that it's a short album :) that closes with a banging cover of "Mrs. Robinson." Again - nothing specialized but highly recommended. 7/10 4 stars (ranked based on the original release. I'm not a fan of the "extended" album / demos - so if you're in the same boat stop playing after "Mrs. Robinson" (Apple Music))

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Fri Oct 22 2021
4

I had a lot of fun with this one! Pretty solid! Glad I listened to it. A lot of good tracks. The "Mrs. Robinson" cover was VERY unexpected, but as a big Simon and Garfunkel fan, I greatly appreciated it. Overall, a very good album.

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Tue Oct 26 2021
4

A proper power pop album chock full of good tunes. Evan Dando knows his songcraft. A bit druggy, a bit slack but a joy, nonetheless.

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Tue Nov 16 2021
4

Seemed pretty homophobic?

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Tue Nov 16 2021
4

Не дослушал, не оч зашло

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Thu Nov 18 2021
4

I really liked this one. If Nirvana was a cup of black coffee. You know, the kind where there's inevitably some grounds at the bottom. If Nirvana's that, this cup of tea. It's by no means a happy album but it's got a calm melancholy you can take refuge in.

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Thu Nov 18 2021
4

Pretty good! Easy listen.

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Fri Nov 19 2021
4

8/10

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Sat Nov 27 2021
4

That's Mrs. Robinson

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Tue Nov 30 2021
4

Jeez that artwork alone is enough to transport me back to 1991. Rare for a band to launch with a cover and then be able to back it up with their own material but Lemonheads did it. My favourite kind of indie pop-production standards don't have to be abandoned just because it's indie pop. A genuine treat to listen to the whole album.

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Tue Nov 30 2021
4

Enjoyed it quite a bit. Pop rock, nice.

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Tue Nov 30 2021
4

Solid

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Sat Dec 04 2021
4

Solid proto punk turns pop. "Bit Part"

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Mon Dec 06 2021
4

Very solid and enjoyable. Not a lot of absolute bangers, but the album is solid from start to finish and has a great alternative vibe.

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Mon Dec 06 2021
4

When the most memorable song on an album is a last song cover, you might think it's an awful album. But this one is fantastic. For some reason, I love the song Frank Mills and the change of tempo/tone throughout the song.

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Fri Dec 10 2021
4

Based on the name and the Mrs Robinson cover I always assumed the lemonheads were a punk band that toned it down for the cover. Looks like they rocked it up for the cover. Been really enjoying this album. Stand out tracks - Bit part Mrs Robinson Allison's starting to happen It's a shame about Ray

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Fri Dec 10 2021
4

Pretty nice.

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Sat Dec 11 2021
4

This one was good. I've never heard The Lemonheads before but they seemed to lay the groundwork for a sound that was copied over and over again in the 90s

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Sun Jan 16 2022
4

this is an all-timer.

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Fri Jan 21 2022
4

It's a shame about Evan Dando.. pretty boy Evan was the rage and the scorn of 90's music. Unfortunately, I was a consumer of the later feelings and didn't really appreciate him until after the Lemmonheads heyday. My girlfriend "Beefdog" had this CD and I remember listening to it a lot when we first moved in together. It grew on me and so did the Lemonheads. I know Paul Simon HATED the Mrs. Robinson cover but I think it's the best and most fun track on this album. Great album. It is quintessential early 90's granola rock when Evan Dando was a smoldering Adonis and the ire of Seattle grunge.

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