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El Oso

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iTunes Review

Just as parts of Irresistible Bliss showed Soul Coughing’s too-cool-for-school facade melting away in favor of a more streamlined approach, its third album—El Oso ("The Bear")—found the band exploring new ways to bring stronger melodies into the mix when necessary. Against the advice of producer Tchad Blake, the band included the track “Circles,” a simple but effective pop song with a genuine hook. It turned out to be the band’s biggest hit. “Blame” includes more hooks and harmonies. “$300” contains a sample of a Chris Rock joke that had been backmasked on his Roll with the New album. Most of the album, however, remains centered on M. Doughty’s smart lyrics and snarling delivery, which adds a sense of menace to the noir of “Houston,” the slinky “St. Louise Is Listening,” the atonal hip-hop of “Monster Man,” and the deliberately monotonous and manic “I Miss the Girl.” (M. Doughty has since returned to action as Mike Doughty, rejecting much of Soul Coughing’s work and focusing on a more melodic singer/songwriting career.) 

Customer Reviews


Who remembers the flintstones short with this song playing?? Love the cartoons frm 2004-1990

How did I miss these guys?

Here it is 2012 and I am just discovering this gem on a random search through Itunes. Wow. This album desrerves your attention if you want to hear some of the more creative, non-commercial music the 90s had to offer. Funky, edgy, and still sounding original more than 10 years later. If you've never heard of these guys before, but like Morphine, Primus, and Beck, pick this CD up.

If Soul Coughing is your thing...

Actually, I know that everyone loves Ruby Vroom and how avant-garde it was back in 94. It is very true that "Ruby" was very much a new sound at the time and I thought it was interesting but I got bored with it quickly. On the other hand El Oso (The Bear) was a completely different thing all together. Mike Doughy is still as funky on vocal but the band seems to have progressed. The album has some great stand alone songs like Fully Retractable, Rolling and the often played Circles but my personal favorite is $300. The album on the whole is solid and is a good put it on and let it play album. Still after 12 years I listen to it often. So as the title implies it is great if SC is your thing. If you are looking for Ruby Vroom 2 or non-stop Super Bon Bon then you will be disappointed but personally I think that this was their best album.


Formed: 1992 in New York City, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

One of the most unique cult bands of the '90s, Soul Coughing anchored a new crop of quirky, unclassifiable bands that emerged in the post-grunge era, including Morphine, the Eels, and Cake. Driven by frontman M. Doughty's stream-of-consciousness poetry, Soul Coughing's sound was a willfully idiosyncratic mix of improvisational jazz grooves, oddball samples, hip-hop, electronics, and noisy experimentalism (described by Doughty as "deep slacker jazz"). Even at the height of the alternative rock era,...
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El Oso, Soul Coughing
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