Home Read Classic Album Review: Evan Dando | Baby I’m Bored

Classic Album Review: Evan Dando | Baby I’m Bored

The Lemonheads frontmans sobers up & grows up on his first solo studio release.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Every party has to end sometime. Even (or maybe that should be especially) the apparently eternal binge Evan Dando has been on for much of his life.

After losing much of the last seven years to various demons, the notorious Lemonheads frontman has reportedly sobered up, settled down (at least enough to get married) and reconnected with his muse. Not surprisingly, his introspective first studio solo album Baby I’m Bored often seems to serve as a musical diary of his self-destruction and ultimate rebirth.

“I can’t believe how far I slipped / But secretly I’m glad I did,” Dando confesses, neatly encapsulating the basic emotional themes that recur over the course of 12 songs whose intimacy and depth can come off as self-indulgent at first, but grow on you with repeated listening. (Interestingly enough, several of the tunes were co-written or penned entirely by young singer-songwriter Ben Lee, a friend and fan of Dando who reportedly helped coax the troubled artist back to work.) As you might expect, the music that goes with these sentiments tends to be fairly low-wattage stuff powered by acoustic guitars, understated production and a decidedly late-night folk-pop vibe created by an extensive guest list that also includes superstar producer Jon Brion, Spacehog’s Royston Langdon and members of Calexico.

Make no mistake; this is still an Evan Dando record, with all the requisite four-chord pop tunes, strummy guitars and dusty slacker vocals. But it’s a more mature, quiet and focused Dando than we’ve ever seen before: A man who’s somewhat older, a little wiser and almost ready to grow up.