Search - Lemonheads :: It's a Shame About Ray (New Version)

It's a Shame About Ray (New Version)
It's a Shame About Ray (New Version)
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1

180gm vinyl LP repressing of this Alternative Rock classic from Evan Dando and friends, originally released in 1992. Over 15 years after it's original release, It's A Shame About Ray still holds up as a Jangle-Pop classic....  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Lemonheads
Title: It's a Shame About Ray (New Version)
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 3
Label: Atlantic / Wea
Original Release Date: 11/10/1992
Release Date: 11/10/1992
Album Type: Extra tracks
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, Adult Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 075678246029, 075678239748, 075678246043, 075678246081


Album Description
180gm vinyl LP repressing of this Alternative Rock classic from Evan Dando and friends, originally released in 1992. Over 15 years after it's original release, It's A Shame About Ray still holds up as a Jangle-Pop classic. 13 tracks. 2009.

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CD Reviews

All-time favorite feel-good album
raveballs | near los angeles, california | 11/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Lemonheads-It's a Shame About Ray (1992) My all-time favorite feel-good album, all songs are under four minutes long. The Boston-based band churns out the most catchy tunes I've ever heard. Singer/guitarist/lyricist Evan Dando's songs have an air of innocence and wonderment that always leaves me feeling happy to be alive. Juliana Hatfield was a member of the band at this time, and Johnny Depp and Faye Dunaway starred in the video for album's title track. "Rockin' Stroll" is sung from the perspective of a baby in his stroller: "People's knees and trunks of trees smile at me." "My Drug Buddy" is about scoring some dope and just enjoying a female friend's company. Lyrics like, "Thrilled to be in the same post-code as you.../Smile at me, I'll hold you really tight/Follow you into bed," are practically irresistible. And "Rudderless" must be one of the most catchiest songs ever made. I pop this cd in when I'm feeling low, and it never fails to cheer me up.

As Sweet As the Candy That Is the Band's Namesake
Blake Maddux | Arlington, MA United States | 11/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A professor of mine once suggested that a good short paper was always better than a good long one. The same, I think, can be said of CDs (even though I consider the 76-minute "Blueberry Boat" to be one of the best releases of 2004). The original release of The Lemonheads' CD "It's A Shame About Ray" was under 30 minutes long, and was later padded by the cover of Mrs Robinson. When a short record is done right, it leaves no space for throwaways or wasted moments. Having said that, "It's A Shame About Ray" is, in short, done right.

Released 10 months after "Nevermind," "Ray" is kinder, gentler release of the grunge era ("bubblegrunge" was the term applied to it). Singer/songwriter Evan Dando does a fine job of mixing all of his influences into the record: jangle pop, country rock, power pop, and punk. He sings in an understated and unpretentious manner that succeeds all the same in bringing his clever lyrics into full relief. The jangley acoustic strumming and crisp arpeggios that come to the fore give the CD a very autumnal feel, one that makes the setting seem more like a wealthy, wooded bedroom community than suburbia.

The first half of the CD alternates among slow (My Drug Buddy), mid (Confetti), and up tempo (The Turnpike Down) numbers, and then climaxes to perfection with the drum-propelled tracks Bit Part and the magnificent Alison's Starting to Happen. Simply put, these songs are two of the best pieces of evidence to suggest that the three-minute pop song is one minute too long. (The latter contains what is probably the best lyric on the entire record: "She's the puzzle piece behind the couch that made the sky complete.") But it is hardly all downhill from there. The plaintive Hannah and Gabi, the playful Kitchen, the somewhat fiercer Ceiling Fan in My Spoon, and a grin-inducing version of Frank Mills are all terrific as well.

In the end, "Ray" is a pleasantly unassuming record, one that does little to explicitly draw in or put off the listener. It doesn't take any high-stake risks, but it doesn't aim at the lowest common denominator, either. Evan Dando presents his songs with the aplomb of a highly confident street performer: he is perfectly happy to have people stop and listen, but equally happy to keep playing as people pass by obliviously. His voice is warm and inviting, and his lyrics often express uncertainty ("if I make it through today"), sometimes despondency ("hope in my past"), but he does manage to muster a bit of optimism on Rockin' Stroll ("moving forward all the time", "I'm gonna try"). And it would be really unfair to not give Juliana Hatfield a mention, as her candy-coated voice is a lovely touch on songs like Rudderless.

"Infectious" is not quite the right word to describe "It's A Shame About Ray", but it is very listener-friendly and effectively sequenced. Hence, it is easy to listen to repeatedly without seeming predictable or repetitive. Good thing, too, as the listener is very likely to keep coming back for more of "Ray's" bite-size pleasures. It may not be an era-defining record like "Nevermind" or "Ten," but it does provide a nice snapshot into a different aspect of the early 90s scene, one which should be equally interesting to those of you who weren't there as it is to those of us who were.

A Classic
KD | Boston, MA USA | 09/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The oversaturation of "alternative" bands that went mainstream in the early '90's produced very little worth mentioning today. The Lemonheads are an exception, and this, their second major-label effort (5th overall) is their shining moment. It's too bad Evan Dando has never received his due as a songwriter, most of the band's well-known songs are covers. Originally, this album closed with "Frank Mills", from the musical "Hair". Atlantic later tacked on their rocking cover of "Mrs. Robinson", which became their biggest hit.But the real gems on this disc are Dando's - "It's a Shame About Ray", "Confetti", "Allison's Starting to Happen", "My Drug Buddy"....all classics in the Lemonheads catalog. The music is catchy and the lyrics are clever -- great straightforward pop-rock."