Soul Coughing: Ruby Vroom

rubyvroomIf there is such a thing as a perfect album, it just might be Ruby Vroom by Soul Coughing. The sound is absolutely amazing. It rewards close, repeated listens with a dense, intricate layered mixture of samples and old-school instruments so that you’re constantly hearing new things even as your expectations for that little unexpected twinge right there are delightfully met. From the wacky to the sublime the lyrics’ composition is exceeded in quality only by their delivery.

I love this album so much, even as it is forever entangled with the summer of ’95 and my friends and (ex-)girlfriend from that summer. This came along at one of the first turns in music when what was being put out did not match what I liked and this opened up my ears to what I thought was an entire new genre of music I was missing. Alas, it was just this album.

Highlights are every fucking song. If you don’t know this album, you’re dead to me. Which is fine, because I’ve got this album.

Rating:
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Mix: “Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago,” “Bus To Beelzebub,” “True Dreams Of Wichita,” “Screenwriter’s Blues,” “Moon Sammy”
– “Sugar Free Jazz,” “Casiotone Nation,” “Blueeyed Devil,” “Supra Genius,” “City Of Motors,” “Uh, Zoom Zip,” “Down To This,” “Mr. Bitterness,” “Janine”
Filed Between: Soul Asylum (Grave Dancers Union) and Soul Coughing’s Sugar Free Jazz single.
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago –
  2. Sugar Free Jazz – That bass is so smooth, so full, so beautiful. Sounds of dolphins, hammering, and it’s all so perfect.
  3. Casiotone Nation –
  4. Blueeyed Devil –
  5. Bus To Beelzebub –
  6. True Dreams Of Wichita –
  7. Screenwriter’s Blues – “We are all in some way or another going to Reseda, someday, to die.”
  8. Moon Sammy –
  9. Supra Genius –
  10. City Of Motors – The description of the gas station blowing up is amazing, not least in its restraint. “He flicks an ash like a wild, loose comma.”
  11. Uh, Zoom Zip – Love the way they mix in the near-tuneless trumpet. Talk about angular, you’ve got an angular guitar here.
  12. Down To This – “You get the ankles, and I’ll get the wrists”. This one’s a bit repetitive, and is saved by the way it mashes up motown, jazz, and all the rest. That moaning in the background…awesome.
  13. Mr. Bitterness –
  14. Janine – almost a mix but gets too sparse in the last 90 seconds or so.
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