Album Reviews: Haughty Melodic by Mike DoughtyIt's back, finally, that voice. The unmistakable timbre of Mike Doughty, formerly of Soul Coughing, is here with a new solo record. The voice is an instrument unto itself. He leads with it. (Don't mistake it for Cake.)
Doughty sounds like a potential pop star on his first album with a full band backing him since Soul Coughing's swan song, El Oso in 1998. He sings more than he did with his former band. The songs are more traditional pop/rock fare than his previous fusions. If you remember "Janine," "Soundtrack to Mary" or "Circles," you've got an idea of the enhanced delights here.
This is a stellar album showcasing a side of Doughty that has only been hinted at before. I don't know that I've heard a better bridge this year than the one in "Madeline and Nine." It claims a spot on the short list of best songs of 2005. There's also the majestic "Unsingable Name," "I Hear the Bells" and "Sunken-Eyed Girl," to name a few of the other best bets. - Jeff Kamin
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