Rolling Stone (p.80) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[L]aid-back roots rock. Doughty hasn't lost the indie-boy cynicism that endeared him to loads of college kids."
Personnel: Mike Doughty (vocals, guitar, programming, sampler, sound effects); Jay Rodriguez (bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Dan Wilson (piano, electric piano, background vocals); John Munson (upright bass); Ken Chastain (percussion); Amy Jennings (background vocals); Dave Matthews.
Audio Mixer: Dan Wilson.
Photographer: Aaron Farrington.
Mike Doughty first gained attention as leader of the incomparably quirky New York quartet Soul Coughing, who scored a couple of unlikely modern-rock hits in the mid-to-late 1990s. Soul Coughing earned critical acclaim and a hearty cult following for its blend of Doughty's anti-folk poetry (often highly abstract and heavy on beat repetition) with unique and unquestionably catchy concoctions of jazz, funk, and electronica.
In the years following SC's dissolution, Doughty transformed into a skilled solo perfomer, as revealed on his 2005 album, HAUGHTY MELODIC. While his trademark penchant for staccato repetition is present (see the brilliantly melodic "Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well"), Doughty's overall approach is more straightforward here. However, he remains wildly and wonderfully unpredictable, as he duets with Dave Matthews on the barroom ballad "Tremendous Brunettes" at one moment and indulges in silly pop on the next with "I Hear the Bells." Awash with inventive instrumental textures, HAUGHTY MELODIC is an intelligent and unabashedly fun record.