Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Mike Doughty

  • Skittish/Rockity Roll [ATO, 2004] Dud
  • Haughty Melodic [ATO, 2005] **
  • Golden Delicious [ATO, 2008] **
  • Circles Super Bon Bon [Snack Bar/Megaforce, 2013] *
  • Stellar Motel [Snack Bar/Megaforce, 2014] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Skittish/Rockity Roll [ATO, 2004] Dud

Haughty Melodic [ATO, 2005]
A clever solo artist who once led a great band ("Busting Up a Starbucks," "American Car"). **

Golden Delicious [ATO, 2008]
Lower East Side vet makes jam-band folk-rock cool ("Fort Hood," "More Bacon Than the Pan Can Handle"). **

Circles Super Bon Bon [Snack Bar/Megaforce, 2013]
Soul Coughing songs of special use to people who abominate the other members of Soul Coughing as much as its reason for being now does ("Super Bon Bon," "Sleepless") *

Stellar Motel [Snack Bar/Megaforce, 2014]
Doughty has never been tuneless. But he's better at lyrics than melody and better at declaiming than singing, which is one reason he foundered after he broke with the polyrhythmic Soul Coughing. It also explains why his old songs held up when he devised an alternatively polyrhythmic hipster hip-hop that he elaborated further for these new ones, breaking decisively with the trad band sound he settled for solo--backup more percussive and electronic, guests more rappers than singers. For the middle third of a 16-track album that lasts just 50 minutes, the lyrics have trouble filling in their title concepts. But everywhere he sounds at home. He's acerbic of course--he hasn't gone soft. But he's always credible, often thoughtful, and sometimes even spiritual. B+