Release Date: Nov 6, 2012
Record label: Snack Bar
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Indie Rock
Released hot on the tails of both a studio album (Yes and Also Yes) and a live album (The Question Jar Show), Mike Doughty's third record of 2012, The Flip Is Another Honey, finds the singer/songwriter completing his release trifecta with an album of cover songs. In the style of all great covers, Doughty isn't content to just perform someone else's work, but instead recasts these songs in a way that they could plausibly be his own. On "Southern Girls," the ripping power pop of Cheap Trick is transformed into a slower, more atmospheric number, propelled along by the mechanical thump of a drum machine and occasional keyboard swells.
Mike Doughty’s solo career began haltingly and gradually in the early 2000s, culminating in his major label debut, Haughty Melodic, in 2005. But since he returned with ‘08’s Golden Delicious, Doughty has been increasingly prolific. His new covers album, The Flip is Another Honey, is his sixth album since ‘08. That list includes an instrumental electronic album (Dubious Luxury) and a two-disc live set (The Question Jar Show), and it doesn’t even mention his tell-all memoir, The Book of Drugs, which hit shelves at the beginning of 2012.
For an artist who began his career as the frontman of the laconic and aloof techno-funk band Soul Coughing, Mike Doughty’s solo career has been characterized by a surprising level of sincerity. His new covers album, The Flip Is Another Honey, possesses a warmth and affection that makes it easy to forgive its duller moments. The blues-rock cut “Jimmy Bell,” which despite an attempt at a persistent backbeat, overstays its welcome at four-and-a-half minutes, while Doughty’s two Cheap Trick covers, “Southern Girls” and “Running Back,” owe most of their listenability to the inherent cleverness of Cheap Trick as pop-rock songsmiths rather than to Doughty’s respectful interpretations.
Fringe musician Mike Doughty, a John Denver fan? Who knew? Doughty’s erratic career has never been logical or predictable. His jazz inflected, hip-hop inspired, folk pop is not for those without a sly, bone dry, self-deprecating sense of humor and genre bending tastes; which is to say, most of the record buying public. But for those willing to follow Doughty wherever his muse leads– whether solo or with a band– it’s a fascinating, if not always artistically successful ride.
Quirky songwriter Mike Doughty (formerly the frontman of Soul Coughing) has carved out a name for himself as a solo artist. The Flip Is Another Honey finds Doughty paying homage to other artists on a covers album full of gems. Doughty’s work is often criticized for sticking to a single sound (think indie rock guitar, bourbon-smooth vocals, lots of religious and drug imagery).