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CD Review: Mike Doughty's Sad Man Happy Man

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The Deal: Former front man of quirky '90s band Soul Coughing continues down the acoustic, solo path.

The Good: While his fourth solo album is stripped down to mostly just Doughty and an acoustic guitar, his lyrical wit remains intact. If you're familiar with his previous work, you'll be happy with this latest offering. He can get a bit repetitive in choruses, and sometimes verses, but it somehow never crosses the border into annoying. He walks a line close to rap on "Pleasure on Credit" and most of his songs are worthy of singing along as much as listening intently for entertainment. He's a survivor of heroin addiction that isn't afraid to confront the demon head-on – references to the drug pop up on occasion. You can also get a sense of his humor on "How to Fuck a Republican." Doughty also gives his take on a couple of tunes – "Casper the Friendly Ghost" and "(He's Got the) Whole World (in His Hands)."

The Bad: If you find the tone of Doughty's voice to be annoying, you're not gonna like any of these. His vocal can teeter on the line of nasal, but it's also got charm in its unique quality and pitch.

The Verdict: As good as the previous efforts and worth checking out – on disc or in person. Doughty will be at The Evening Muse on Oct. 24.

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