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Haughty Melodic

51 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 29, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Mike Doughty returns with his ATO records debut and first full band album since his former group , Soul Coughing disbanded in 2000. Features the song 'Looking At The World From The Bottom Of A Well'. 2005.

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Finally, the world is treated to Mike Doughty's first "full-band" album since Soul Coughing disbanded in 1998. Doughty has clearly morphed from hyperactive ironic hipster to a world-class songwriter with lyrics that are funny ("I want to run away and join the office") and self-deprecating but never emo ("All my life I've been slow and senseless/Not struck dumb I'm just dumb that's all"). If you're looking for faults you can always find them, and to be sure some of the playing is overly "pro" and not as funky as M.D. live. The perfect pedal steel touches throughout are actually icing on this cake, and the drummer dude from N.E.R.D.'s metronomic bashing's hardly a bummer. The songs on the album will be familiar to fans who've seen him live, and thanks to Haughty being recorded over a long stretch of time (the songs themselves honed that way too) it has a "greatest hits" feel to it: all killer, no filler. --Mike McGonigal

1. Looking At The World From The Bottom Of A Well
2. Unsingable Name
3. Madeline And Nine
4. Busting Up A Starbucks
5. White Lexus
6. American Car
7. Tremendous Brunettes
8. I Hear The Bells
9. Sunken-Eyed Girl
10. Grey Ghost
11. His Truth Is Marching On
12. Your Misfortune

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 29, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ATO Records
  • ASIN: B00080EV7A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,651 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ranj the Obscure on June 17, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Always a genius with a line of poetry,

Doughty really seems naked and open-hearted on this album.

From the touching 'Unsingable Name' to the pain of 'White Lexus,' this album really shows me a Doughty that is far less cynical, far more spiritual, in a genuine sense.

Doughty uses a more conventional sounding A&R than Soul Coughing, and the sound is more fully realized instrumentally than his small rock period. Really, this band rocks in the conventional sense of the term. I can't think of a single track on the album that even hints of the avant garde. And that's ok.

Despite the more conventional sound, Doughty takes more chances with his audience on this album. If you listen to Rockity Roll and Skittish, you can hear an evolution in his sensibilities as a writer. Gone is the need to protect himself with entirely oblique lyrical content. He still is clever, still a master wordsmith, but seems less inclined to make you parse and re-parse lines for the sake of meaning. There is still enough to discuss here, but the lyrics are rainwater clear.

Really, I think he trusts us not to turn on him with the truth like a cudgel. And the full monty works for him. He says that the days of uncool decathecting are gone. It shows. He may be looking at the world from the bottom of a well, but he is writing from the synoptic heights.

The band is wonderful, the coloration and arraingment very good, in places even sublime. I hope that he and Dave Matthews continue working together. Both of them will profit from each other's strengths.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B. Niedt on February 22, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This one really sneaked up on me. I'd heard Mike Doughty at an outdoor music fest last summer, and while he was good, I didn't give him my full attention like I did some of the other acts. Then "Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well" really caught my ear, thanks to frequent airplay on XPN-FM in Philly. Then I heard "Busting Up a Starbucks", and this guy, with his husky vocal style and ironic lyrics, got me hooked. Previously, I'd heard some Soul Coughing tracks that I liked, and the cumulative effect of these songs from his ouevre made me a sudden fan. This is a fine album with not a bad track to be found. Doughty's signature percussive style is evident throughout, and the lyrics are something to be savored, too. (Although I keep thinking of an eventual "double irony", if certain songs here end up one day in a Starbucks or Lexus commerical.) Suffice to say, if I'd heard this CD when it first came out, it probably would've made my Amazon Top 20 list for 2005.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By John on July 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is the perfect introduction to Micheal Doughty's quirky, catchy and unique style. He was on the cutting edge as the leader of Soul Coughing for years, and now has gone off on his own to create a more mainstream but no less satisfying album. The songs are uniqe and have a great replay value. If you like this, try Soul Coughing's first album, Ruby Vroom. It is different than Houghty in that it's more bass and drums and wierd sound effects, but still good. Every song on this CD and on Ruby Vroom is great.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mojo Doppio on August 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I found a few demo's and bootlegs of most of the tracks on this album elsewhere before purchasing this CD. I was a little disappointed when I popped this commercial release in my player.

In a word, it's too "slick". The strongest points of Doughty's stuff are 1st, his voice, and 2nd, his lyrics. The musical portion of his songwriting is still a little amateur or one-dimensional at times (the other members of SoulCoughing provided a lot, for that) as too many songs "sound alike".

Sony probably wanted to "pad" the mixes to sell 'em more easily for commercial radio, etc. The problem is, that takes away from Doughty's voice and simple guitar, it doesn't necessarily improve things.

If you're a SC or Doughty fan, go ahead and buy this. I wasn't disappointed, overall. It's still Doughty, and we love 'im! However, you might also scrounge-up the demo's too. Case in point: "...Bottom of a Well". The demo uses a drum machine rhythm track, which while simple, is unobtrusive, and you quickly stop noticing it and focus instead on Doughty's voice. The commercial, slicked-up version on Haughty Melodic buries his voice in layers of studio work.

In fact, nearly every song on this album has been worked-over this way. Some may appreciate the additional padding; I didn't.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mike K. on May 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Though I personally really like this album, I'm going to have to make the disclaimer that anyone who hasn't been following Doughty's post-Soul Coughing material may be a little dissapointed; the only real nod to the oddball beat-funk-rap of Ruby Vroom and Irresistable Bliss is "Busting Up A Starbucks", and though this is his first full-band solo album, the instrumentation tends to be much more conventional and singer-songwriter-y. This is not to say that the influence of Dave Matthews (whose ATO imprint released this album, and even shows up to sing a verse on "Tremendous Brunettes") has taken over proceedings entirely. Though this album does seem like a deliberate effort to ingratiate Doughty's quirky style to coffeeshop jam-band fans, there's not too much seperating many of these songs and the more mellow Soul Coughing material like "The Idiot Kings", "Janine", and of course "Circles", and if nothing else Doughty's distinctive vocal style makes sure there's a distinct personality. In fact a few tracks may even be a little too typical of him, though there's plenty of highlights like the spare perfection of "White Lexus" and the almost gospel-influenced "Grey Ghost and "Your Misfortune". If you're a Soul Coughing fan who likes their more melodic fare you'll like this. If you're just looking at this because of the Dave Matthews connection you'll probably be able to get into it too, and while it may be a bit of a strange journey, I'd reccomend gradually backtracking to Soul Coughing as well.
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