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Lust In Phaze: The Best of Soul Coughing

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This 2002 best-of collection was brought back to digital outlets in 2013, and it’s a welcome sight. This 20-track summary of the “deep slacker jazz” quartet’s best moments leaves a few cuts off but mostly gets things right. Singer and chief writer Mike Doughty may have thoroughly dismissed his Soul Coughing days in his scathing and brilliant 2012 autobiography The Book of Drugs—but for listeners who didn’t suffer the rigors of being in a '90s alternative rock band, tracks such as “Sugar Free Jazz,” “True Dreams of Wichita,” “Screenwriter’s Blues,” “Super Bon Bon," and “Circles” show how adventurous that commercially viable music could be at major labels briefly in the '90s. There are six tracks apiece from Ruby Vroom and Irresistible Bliss, four from El Oso, a live version of “Casiotone Nation,” The Propellerheads’ remix of “Super Bon Bon,” the previously unreleased “Buddha Rhubarb Butter,” and “Unmarked Helicopters” from the X-Files tribute album Songs in the Key of X. Listeners who enjoy Doughty’s voice but also prefer an emphasis on melody over rhythm should check out his solo works.


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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Lust In Phaze: The Best of Soul Coughing, Soul Coughing
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