Nothing seems to bother Evan Dando—least of all the buzz that indicates the flaxen-haired front man of the Lemonheads will be the next alternative idol, and that Come On Feel the Lemonheads (Atlantic) will be the record to make him one. Dando is still the epitome of the amiable, fogged-over slacker—the kind who, in ”Paid to Smile,” tells a chauffeur he can open the limo door himself, thanks. Dando seems happier singing about wearing an ex-girlfriend’s shirt in ”Favorite T” or, in ”Being Around,” working his way into a woman’s heart with lines like ”If I was a booger/Would you blow your nose?” Even in the role of a gay man talking down a hostile bully in ”Big Gay Heart,” Dando, with his earnest, puppy-dog voice, seems more wistful than angry.
Just as Dando seems to have reached a state of stoner serenity (perhaps chemically induced, as he hints in ”Style”), so has the music of the Lemonheads. With each album, Dando’s writing, singing, and guitar playing have grown steadily wimpier. But at least he’s a melodic wimp. Come On is crammed tight with the type of charming, grungy folk-rock songs Dando can write in his sleep. And unlike Matthew Sweet, another fan of breezy melodies that sound lifted from a ’60s transistor radio, Dando doesn’t clutter his arrangements. All he wants is simple, and simpleminded, bliss; on Come On, he finds it. B+
Come On Feel the Lemonheads