The Lemonheads - Varshons 2 - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Lemonheads - Varshons 2

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:9 Release Date:2019-02-08
The Lemonheads - Varshons 2
The Lemonheads - Varshons 2

If there ever was an artist for whom the term slacker rock was designed for, then it is Even Dando, the man behind The Lemonheads, quite a few of their remarkable albums and no less remarkable two solo albums (one live). You see, Dando is a man of incredible talent that simply doesn’t care to explore it to its full potential. Impeccable songwriting and great vocals have been enough to carry him through, and that seems to have always been enough for him.

The Lemonheads masterful album It’s A Shame About Ray barely clocks over 30 minutes and I remember one of his live performances to support his aptly titled solo album Baby I’m Bored when he didn’t even bother to teach the pickup band all the tunes from the album so he repeated a few of them two or three times.

Still, whenever he comes up with a new release, brilliance shines through no matter what, and that also includes all the covers he takes on. Whether it is Suzanne Vega’s “Luka”, Gram Parsons’ “Brass Buttons” or Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson”, or any other he did on numerous tribute albums. Doing a song per album at some point seemed his perfect measure.

That also holds true for a previous, 2008 edition of Varshons, where Dando took on a variety of strange combinations, putting Leonard Cohen, GG Allin and Sam Gopal together. A decade later, with no releases of original material in-between, here's Varshons 2, another set of covers.

This time around, Dando almost makes it to 40 minutes of music, making the album another exhilarating and frustrating experience. Exhilarating, because his taste, choice, and execution are again up to standards he can reach with ease. Frustrating, because you always want more and you keep asking yourself where is that original material?

As far as the music is concerned, what is there to fault? The songs you know a bit, like Yo La Tengo’s “Can’t Forget” (Dando even picks up their guitar sound), John Prine’s “The Speed of The Sound of Loneliness”, songs you might have heard too many times, but don’t mind hearing them again, like The Eagles’ “Take It Easy”, the ones you are not familiar with, like “Unfamiliar”, or the ones you don’t really care for, but still sound good here, like “TAQN”? 

It all works a charm, the choice of songs, the choice of musicians and Dando’s voice that never misses. Maybe that is the best we can expect at the moment from the greatest rock slacker around.

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