The Mighty Lemon Drops

Sire/Reprise, 1991

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


After having experienced a middling amount of success in the U.S., British alterna-rockers The Mighty Lemon Drops were thrown for a loop. After hooking up with producer/songwriter Andy Paley (best known for his work with Brian Wilson, John Wesley Harding, and a Sire staff producer), the band came out with a batch of tracks so bad they’ve all but officially disowned the results.

From the opening chords of “Too High,” one can tell something’s wrong. The band sounds a bit like the Charlatans and the songs are swathed in effects, but the result is less than impressive. Bathed in keyboards and missing the melodicism of their previous work like “Out Of Hand” or “Inside Out,” the Drops seems like a band in search of personality and direction. “Unkind,” which I believe was the single, sounds like ’90s psychedelia à la early Blur or other British bands of the time that were just becoming popular.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Paul Marsh’s vocals and David Newton’s guitar work still rise above the mediocrity, particularly on “Annabelle.” “Always” is about the closest the band come to sounding like their old selves but with an early ’90s twist that doesn’t fit. Even the songwriting is crap and Newton has almost admitted as much. “My Shadow Girl” is a bit laughable when listening to the lyrics. It’s not that this album is total garbage; it’s just that there wasn’t enough TLC going into the writing and recording.

“Cold, Cold Heart” is where this stuff starts to get a bit rancid. The song doesn’t even have a point and doesn’t appear to even have a reason for existing – that’s how bad it is. Luckily, the bass work by Marcus Williams on “You Don’t Appreciate Anything” is quite exceptional and is one of the few things that save the record from being a complete disgrace.

Ultimately, this is not one of those records to hang your hat on. But the band were determined to go out on their own terms. Recording on their own, they released Ricochet in 1992, which was slightly better. But after that, the band decided to end their reign. Though this record isn’t complete rubbish (except for “Cold, Cold Heart” and “Colorful-Loving-Me”), it isn’t one of the best either. This release is definitely for diehards only.

Rating: D

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