Yes and Also Yes
Snack Bar Records/ Megaforce Records
I’ve been a Mike Doughty fan since he was the lead singer of Soul Coughing. His last two solo albums were chock full of obtuse lyrics and ultra-catchy rhythms that has endeared him to me over the past few years. His latest, Yes and Also Yes, is a decent combination of the poppy Golden Delicious and the stripped-down acoustic Sad Man Happy Man.
Opening with “Na Na Nothing,” his lyrical strangeness comes through with lines like “I was the swellest of the swells.” For lyrical oddities however, look no further than the funky “Vegetable.” His half-sung/ half-spoken chorus goes a little something like this: Steam it like a vegetable, burn it like a vegetable, dip it like a vegetable, notch it like a vegetable, fry it like a vegetable, boil it like a vegetable, freeze it like a vegetable. Basically combine any of those lines and you have the chorus of the song. What is the purpose? I have no idea. It really doesn’t have anything to do with the rest of the song (or anything else, for that matter). But it is really friggin’ catchy!
The best track is “Holiday (What Do You Want?)” with Rosanne Cash. The Christmas jingle bells in the background and the harmonizing of Doughty and Cash is mesmerizing, especially when they sing “What do you want me to give you?”
“Rational Man” follows a staccato beat underscored by a lethargic piano and hit-and-miss violin. It’s just weird enough to sound “indie,” but it would be right at home on mainstream radio. “Into the Un” was rejected for the Twilight soundtrack, even though it would have fit perfectly. Maybe it’s because the song is about (as Doughty himself put it) “goth kids on LSD in a train station.”
“Telegenic Exes, #2 (Astoria)” brings back the acoustic-folk that made Sad Man Happy Man so good. It closes the album on a more contemplative note, one that isn’t really reached throughout the rest of the disc.
Yes and Also Yes was Doughty’s headline on an online dating site. Despite his lack of success dating, he has been (and is continuing to be) successful musically. This album further entrenches him as one of the better (if not the quirkiest) singer-songwriters around.
Mike Doughty: www.mikedoughty.com