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Skittish / Rockity Roll

Mike Doughty

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Album Review

Gathering Mike Doughty's 2000 acoustic release Skittish — produced by Kramer (of Low and Galaxie 500 fame) and recorded in 1996 — and his 2003 EP Rockity Roll, this reissue proves that cruelly overlooked singer/songwriters win out every once in a while. Reviving the formula that made Soul Coughing's "Circles" so irresistible, Doughty's love affair with drum programming and bluesy guitar fills on "Ways + Means" are secondary to an unforgettable chorus. More melodic and possibly more alluring, another EP extract, "27 Jennifers," could and should be the singer's mainstream breakthrough. If the technology charged, mid-tempo street ode "Down on the River by the Sugar Plant" broadens Doughty's scope, it's "40 Grand in the Hole" where he sounds his most natural as a maturing troubadour "standing in line at Teriyaki Boy." If it's possible, the unplugged Skittish material is even more appealing, as Doughty medleys a 1992 Mary J. Blige smash with an underground classic by the Feelies on "Real Love/It's Only Life." Elsewhere, on "The Only Answer," his layered vocals and tracked guitar work is as edgy, urgent and transcendent as bare music has a right to be. The latter gets duplicated — as one of two bonus tracks recorded at Bonnaroo in 2004 — alongside a pair of Skittish outtakes, but the real find for Doughty disciples who already own most of this material is "Get Along." Recorded for the film Evenhand, with a tact similar to the Rockity Roll tracks, this solid mid-tempo groove is as magical as anything in Doughty's canon. ~ John D. Luerssen, Rovi

Biography

Born: 10 June 1970 in Fort Knox, KY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Before emerging as a solo artist, Mike Doughty (known as M. Doughty during the early stages of his career) was best known as the frontman of the unique avant-garde group Soul Coughing. Formed in 1992, Soul Coughing took shape after Doughty met Yuval Gabay, Sebastian Steinberg, and Mark de Gli Antoni while working as a doorman at the Knitting Factory, a staple of New York City's underground music scene. The four musicians signed with Slash/Warner Bros. in 1993 after making a name for themselves on...
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Skittish / Rockity Roll, Mike Doughty
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