IT'S A SHAME ABOUT RAY
If 'Lovey' captured Evan Dando as he found his signature blend of punk-pop, jangle pop, & folk-rock, 'It's a Shame About Ray' is where he perfected that style.
Breezing by in under half an hour, the album is a simple collection of sunny melodies & hooks, delivered with typical nonchalance by Dando. None of the songs are about anything major, nor do they have astonishingly original melodies, but that's part of their charm -- they're immediately accessible & thoroughly catchy. Dando's laid-back observations of middle-class outcasts are minor gems. The heartbroken title track or ‘Confetti’, the crushes of ‘Bit Part in Your Life’, the love letter to substances ‘My Drug Buddy’ or the wonderful ‘Alison's Starting to Happen’, where a girl finds herself as she discovers punk rock, capture the laconic rhythms of suburbia, & his warm, friendly voice, which is offset by Juliana Hatfield's girlish harmonies, gives the songs an emotional resonance.