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Friday, Oct. 6, 2006
LISTENING POST: CD REVIEWS
The Lemonheads "The Lemonheads"
If you want to love this album, look to the lyric sheet. Reviving the sweet 'n' sour Lemonheads moniker with new bandmates, Evan Dando eschews the warm country tone of his 2003 solo album "Baby I'm Bored," instead opting for a less dynamic, spiky electric sound. Despite sweet vocal melodies on "Become The Enemy" and "No Backbone," and some smart guitar riffs scattered throughout, most of the songs are unspectacular, and Dando's voice doesn't make the listener all gooey as it can do when he's on form. Worse still, guest J Mascis delivers the same guitar break he's played on every Dinosaur Jr. album, dating the record instantly.
But while on his solo album Dando seemed to be riding a wave of happiness, here we find him dogged by a broken marriage, fantasies of murder and a shaky relationship with the daddy he celebrated on The Lemonheads' 1996 album "Car Button Cloth." Such open, honest lyrics are among his best ever, and are the album's saving grace. It's unlikely to convert a new generation to his often sublime songwriting, but old fans will gobble this up.