Pop albums: The Lemonheads Car Button Cloth Atlantic 7567-92726- 3

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The Independent Culture
With Car Button Cloth, grunge ennui becomes a spectator sport, as Evan Dando offers up a public mea culpa, as demanded by the American star system, for his dissolute crack 'n' smack lifestyle. Over here, contrary to manufactured tabloid outrage, we don't care overmuch about our stars' transgressions: Shaun Ryder can have a lost weekend lasting several years, never pretend to apologise, and we'll still listen if he comes up with a great album. In America, shame must be expressed, and dirty laundry hung out to flap in the breeze of public opinion.

What this means in practice for Dando is a series of admissions of hollowness and inadequacy with titles like "Something's Missing", "Break Me" and "Losing My Mind", sung with scant enthusiasm to the rock 'n' roll equivalent of naive art. Imagine if Jonathan Richman could experience embarrassment, and you're close to what The Lemonheads sound like here. Unfortunately for Dando, the most effective expression of nerd insularity here is a cover version of Tom Morgan's "The Outdoor Type", whose unworldly protagonist admits "I can't go away with you on a rock-climbing weekend / What if something's on TV and it's never shown again?". Now that's what I call sad.