Friday, September 16, 2011

Na Na Nothing

Song: Na Na Noting
Artist: Mike Doughty
Album: Yes and Also Yes

I was a big fan of Mike Doughty's first band, the late-90's stream-of-consciousness lyric, white boy hip-hop, alternative rock band Soul Coughing.  With their debut album "Ruby Vroom" being one of my absolute favorites.  The band split after three great records due to band infighting over songwriting credits and royalties.  Lead singer and chief lyricist Mike Doughty unfortunately developed a heroin problem post breakup, but cleaned up his act and has been releasing solo records trying to build his profile once again.  I really liked 2008's "Golden Delicious," as it seemed to be his most focused and Soul Coughing-as-an-adult record to date.  Just last month Doughty released his new album "Yes and Also Yes," on his own label SNACK BAR.

"Yes and Also Yes" has really grown on me the last couple of weeks.  It's unmistakable Doughty, his nasally voice and skittish musical style in full bloom, proving that the unique Soul Coughing sound was crafted a lot around the man.

The album is a mainly acoustic affair with some string and beat flourishes.  His voice is brought up to the front, and repeated listens unfold some of the background bleeps and production tricks.  Yet the songs are the main highlight, which suits the record, and Mike Doughty very well.  The first three tracks are prime, sounding as much as "classic Doughty" can, and the fourth track, "Holiday (What Do You Want?)" is a surprisingly sweet ballad duet with none other than Rosanne Cash. (?!?!)

This is a good record, and one in which it seems clear that Mike Doughty is re-harnessing his songwriting power.  Where previous efforts were a bit all over the place, "Yes" just like "Delicious," has a cohesive power to it.


Na Na Nothing
Holiday (What Do You Want?)
The Huffer and the Cutter

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