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Genre > Rock > Alt & Grunge
The Heart Watches While The Brain BurnsMike Doughty, founder, songwriter, and singer of Soul Coughing, has released 10 solo albums in the 21st Century, including Haughty Melodic, Stellar Motel, and Sad Man Happy Man. He’s published a memoir, The Book of Drugs, and creates electro tracks and improvised-music pieces under the pseudonyms UUL and Dubious Luxury. His opera Revelation was staged in conjunction with WNYC, and he’s currently writing a second memoir, and writing songs with Wayne Kramer from the MC5.1. Wait! You’ll Find a Better Way
2. I Can’t Believe I Found You in That Town
4. There Is a Way Out
5. Sad Girl Walking in the Rain
7. You Could Fly
9. Don’t Jerk the Wheel
10. Making Me Lay Down
11. Give Me Something
12. The Wild Creatures
$19.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
CirclesIn the years since [Soul Coughing's] 1999 breakup, [Mike Doughty] has re-emerged as a top-notch singer-songwriter, seemingly eager to shed the ghosts of his past. So ultimately, it was a nice surprise when, earlier this year, he announced he was going to do an album of re-imagined versions of tracks he originally recorded with Soul Coughing. If you’ve listened to any one of the band’s albums, you probably can understand why there has been a little cult following built behind their work.
On “Circles Super Bon Bon …” Doughty reclaims the songs and, most likely, delivers them in ways he had originally imagined. In interviews, he has discussed how he would have to fight for songs to sound a certain way. Sometimes, he would have to concede. So one could look at this album as a revisionist exercise. How his former bandmates feel about this is unknown. But, the big surprise is he actually improves and/or nicely compliments the vast majority of these cuts.
Much of the record is given more of a pop sheen than one probably would expect. The effect works. Sure, some of the songs were hits in their original form (like “Super Bon Bon” and “Circles,” for instance) but the collection’s revelatory moments generally stem from the songs that didn’t get airplay.
“The Idiot Kings,” in its original form, had a brooding, heavy, driving quality. The version here is infinitely brighter, thanks to a choice key change and a well-used drum loop.
“True Dreams of Wichita” was originally an upright-bass driven lament. In its new form, it loses no intensity while it ends up sounding like a more complete cousin to Primitive Radio Gods’ 1996 hit, “Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand.”
In fact, the album on the whole seems celebratory. Doughty is aiming these songs at an audience willing to dance. “How Many Cans” and “Sleepless,” which were originally both slow-building, almost meditative dirges packed with an underlying sense of menace, now bounce around with newly reinforced backbones.
This album demonstrates that Soul Coughing really should’ve had more hits and Doughty deserves respect as one of his generation’s keenest songwriters. While Doughty, himself, was probably exorcising personal demons by re-imagining these songs, in the process, he has given them a second life.
Any fan of Soul Coughing should find this album, at the very least, to be a fascinating companion-piece to the original takes. In this surprising move, Doughty does his legacy proud. While some favorites may have not made the track list, this album, nevertheless, is a reminder of these songs’ lasting endurance. This is Doughty’s well-earned victory lap.
Allan Raible (ABC News Music)1. Sleepless
2. How Many Cans
3. True Dreams of Wichita
4. Super Bon Bon
5. Mr. Bitterness
6. The Idiot Kings
7. Monster Man
8. Maybe I’ll Come Down
9. Unmarked Helicopters
10. So Far I Have Not Found the Science
11. I Miss the Girl
13. St. Louise Is Listening
$17.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Alternative rock first emerged in Britain in the late 70s and early 80s, but it didn’t really hit its stride until the 90s with the arrival of bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and
Alternative rock first emerged in Britain in the late 70s and early 80s, but it didn’t really hit its stride until the 90s with the arrival of bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction. That was also right around the time that Nirvana and Pearl Jam fueled the grunge rock explosion.
And when you want the full and real alt rock experience, you’ve gotta try it out on vinyl, and SoundStage Direct is your one-stop shop for all the best alternative rock vinyls.