When former Soul Coughing vocalist Mike Doughty signed on with Dave Matthews' record label, it was a clear statement of the direction he wanted his music to evolve in, citing his excitement at finding a place where the indie-rock/rap hybrid of his old band could coexist with a mellower jam-band aesthetic. He seems happy enough in that new mode, which he unrolled on 2005's Haughty Melodic and continues on Golden Delicious. But it's disappointing to hear Doughty's early promise as a lyricist now focused on such bland music: It's like watching Allen Ginsberg toss aside his Beat poetry to write scripts for The King Of Queens. (Okay, maybe not that bad.) Golden Delicious rides along on an unchanging, mid-tempo vibe that puts too much weight on Doughty's limited vocal range, stumbling midway through on the cringe-inducingly unfunky "More Bacon Than The Pan Can Handle."
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