The Lemonheads - It's a Shame About Ray
Collector's Edition

Original Release 1 out of 5 stars
Demos and DVD Extras 3 out of 5 stars
Reviewed for Coffeerooms by Mike Jefferson It’s a shame the Lemonheads chose to release their fifth album, 1992’s “It’s A Shame About Ray” in its pugnacious and persistently migraine-inducing electric form. The half-speed acoustic demos outdo the final throat-burning versions visited on the public with such ease you can only hope the person making the group’s career decisions also doesn’t control their money -- ‘cause they’re gonna go broke. The acoustic versions are sung with more passion, have distinctive influences, and, minus drummer David Ryan’s primordial pounding, won’t make your ears bleed. Of course an acoustic album from a group known for its fuzzed-out clamor would have tanked. The alternative crowd wasn’t ready for beautiful music from the Lemons. But now you can have it all on the Deluxe Edition of “It’s A Shame About Ray”… the sweet acoustic sounds in their infancy and the sour power punk it morphed into, plus a DVD of the band bouncing around the outback performing many of the album’s song’s for a third time. Very few albums can stand up to the scrutiny of three different versions of the same song, even if it shows the progression from demos to completed work to live renditions. In the Lemon’s case they didn’t even get that right – the deluxe edition goes from the final versions back in time to the demos, then to the live torture tunes. No matter. Less is more. It’s a shame… but too much Ray causes scurvy.


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