Is It Shit? Lemon Parade by Tonic

Hello again, readers. After the Christmas Holidays, I decided to post some more. Today we venture back to the year 1996. You remember, right? Hootie & The Blowfish scored with Fairweather Johnson, The Wallflowers had Bringing Down the Horse, and the Macarena was a craze. Bill Clinton was reelected to a second term.

First off, let me state that this is simply my opinion and mine alone.

The year of 1996 was marked by big changes for your author. I had moved to Saint Louis from Nantucket, and that summer, like the previous one was brutally hot. It was during this time that I had heard a song that I didn’t know at the time (Later I would learn that it was the first single culled from this album.)

I’m getting ahead of myself here.

So, fast forward to this past fall. I was at the local used music store and I saw it.

Lemon Parade by Tonic.

I bought it (cost was $1.00) and took it home. I popped it in my laptop and gave it a spin.

The first track Open Up Your Eyes is a decent post grunge song. I’d say it was an average opener. Ironically this was the second single culled from the album. Heh, I thought as this song ended. So far it was okay. Casual Affair, the first single is the second track; seems like it is a decent song, a little more raw than Open… but still feels constrained. The next track is a post grunge anthem: If You Could Only See. This is what made Tonic huge for a summer. If You Could Only See is raw, energetic and sombre at the same time. The lyrics, I’m told are about the lead singers mother, and her disapproval of a girlfriend.

Taking a break from listening, memories were dredged up. Memories of my mother’s second marriage and of sailing on Creve Coeur Lake. If You Could… brought up memories of a severe weather outbreak on the night of August 14th, 1997. The summer of ’97 was broken by many thunderstorm outbreaks.

Back on track, we hear Soldier’s Daughter. This was also a single from this album, but it must’ve not done too well on the charts. Soldier’s Daughter is a ballad. The song has a slow pace. The title track is next. This track is probably the one I despise the most. Lemon Parade is also a slow, monotonous song. Mountain, the sixth track is opened with an acoustic guitar, and has electric guitars added to it. Mountain tries to go somewhere, but it can’t; it’s as if it’s constrained to a template. That template being your standard formula late 90’s alt rock.

Thick, the next track is distorted in the opening (possibly the only track here that uses distortion pedals to a degree.) I vaguely remember this song being played on 105.7 The Point (KPNT for those technical folks.) The song straddles the border of post-grunge and adult contemporary. Perhaps what is troubling, is to say this song could have been a single, but wasn’t. If I remember right, this song was definitely played on the point, even 101.1 The River (WVRV for those techies.)

Wicked Soldier is a rollicking song (What’s with them and soldiers?) This too, could have been a single. The song is raw, much like track #3. So far there have been a couple of hits and a couple of misses. Mr. Golden Deal starts off slow. This is an adult alternative song. Less energy is in this song. Perhaps it’s like the shell of a person looking back on their lives. I can picture it now: an elderly person sitting in a nursing home staring at the wall and talking to themselves.

Bigot Sunshine is a rollicking song, like Wicked Soldier. After the snooze-fest that was Mr. Golden Deal, I’ll take this. This is an energetic track. We’re nearing the end of this album. Celtic Aggression seems to deal with the hatred of Irish folks. This song is somewhat energetic with a moderate pace to it. Finally we come to the ending track. My Old Man. This is an adult contemporary song. Perhaps it could have been at home on 102.5 KEZK.

So Lemon Parade fits the mold of typical 90’s alternative rock. I didn’t really dig this album, perhaps there were more misses than hits. Music can be therapeutic, and I did get a nostalgia trip while listening to this album. More bad memories were dredged up by listening to one track on Lemon Parade. If You Could Only See was the smash hit for Tonic and rightfully so. So I have to ask:

Is It Shit?

Technically, yes it is. It’s somewhat drab. Golden Deal and Old Man drag this album down. Tonic would go on to produce another album three years later in 1999, called Sugar. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to review it. I wouldn’t seek this out, but if you’re a completest such as myself, then it would do nicely in your collection. I paid a buck for it and I must say I got my dollar’s worth.

Who knows what I’ll review next, but whatever it is it will come under the microscope.

That’s all for now.




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