Release Date: Feb 19, 2008
Record label: ATO
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative
On 2005's Haughty Melodic, Mike Doughty took steps to move away from his purely acoustic solo material, bringing in piano and horns to fill out his sound. Golden Delicious stretches even further into radio-friendly adult alternative, and in fact little resembles the singer's earlier work. "27 Jennifers," which was originally found on the 2003 EP Rockity Roll, is revisited here, with added electric guitars and a swirling keyboard solo that might have come straight out of 1986, but even with all the accoutrements, the song ends up being one of the better ones on the album.
Love it or hate it, jammy Dave Matthews-like rock will always be around. The latest release from former Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty isn’t quite as annoying as Matthews’s catalogue, but it comes close. The title I Wrote A Song About Your Car is enough to make any self-respecting music lover groan, but in case it doesn’t, how about the lyrics “I wrote a song about your car, I wrote it strong and splendid and true”? What the fuck? And 27 Jennifers isn’t much better.
In the years since his stint in Soul Coughing, Mike Doughty has proven himself a fantastically clever, witty, and subtly poignant songwriter. But listening to Golden Delicious, his third proper solo full-length, you’d hardly know it. Maybe it’s the pressure to release a hit single in accordance with his pop-friendly label head Dave Matthews, but Doughty plays it safe on nearly all of the eleven tracks here -- and worse, he plays it soft.