EVAN DANDO
Baby I'm Bored
(Bar None)
* * * 1/2
Can anyone explain how this album caused me to completely lose my shit and start liking Evan Dando again? I'm not 15 anymore, so there is no excuse to like this--but I do. In fact, I love it. Despite its painfully outdated title (Baby I'm Bored, har har har), Dando makes up for all the many years of painful Lemonheads material, by reaching deep within to write some pretty damn relevant tunes. In all the years of mad-crazy crack smoking, the man has a lot of regrets--his acting performance in Heavy should be one of them--which in turn makes the songs on Baby I'm Bored a stunning collection of loss, regret and laments from a junkie who is pissing it all away. Who thought a record like this would be possible? What's next, a good record from Juliana Hatfield? CARMELO MARTINEZ

COBRA VERDE
Easy Listening
(MuscleTone)
* * *
Easy Listening confirms Cobra Verde's eminence in a rock world that never went away. John Petkovic, the Cleveland quartet's sole constant in its nine-year tenure, is a motormouth contrarian with a voice like a rustbelt Bryan Ferry and acerbically witty lyrics. Easy Listening, CV's third album proper, adds Midwestern brawn to glam rock's scrawny shoulders and foppish mannerisms. The disc may sound as conventional as '70s AOR staples like the Stones, Roxy Music, Bowie, and Alice Cooper, but Cobra Verde executes these songs with so much conviction and so many indelible hooks, they render moot notions of innovation. "Riot Industry" is as catchy and crunchy as a Joan Jett hit, while "Don't Worry (The Law's Gonna Break You)" is a big-hearted ballad full of wistful ache, and it quotes the best tune ever, John Barry's "Midnight Cowboy." In between these towering feats, Cobra Verde resurrect straight-ahead chugging rock with irrepressible zeal. DAVE SEGAL

CLUE TO KALO
Come Here When You Sleepwalk
(Mush)
* * *
Touted on the cover as being a synthesis of Slowdive and Boards of Canada, Clue to Kalo brings to an electronic backdrop the sensitivity of soft-spoken dirges pertaining to the matters that make us human. While the lap-pop bombardment continues to barrage our local record stores, CTK's sound takes the electronic into the shoegazer realm, opting to focus on layers of lush melodies that coax hushed vocals to levitate above the beats in an unobtrusive manner. I've listened to this record amidst stereo wars in my house, watching people escape hailstorms outside my window... Each listen has absorbed my surroundings, as if the traces of sound left a blue-colored residue on the walls. In every instance, it has delivered me through the emotional disbelief that has consumed my thoughts at any given glance at a television or newspaper. For me, it will forever be a coping soundtrack to the atrocities committed by the US military in this century. KEVIN O'CONNOR

* * * * Corinthian Leather
* * * Polysuede
* * Naugahyde
* Pleather