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El Oso
3rd album by Soul Coughing

This album is the third and final album by the group Soul Coughing. Their record company (Warner Brothers) had hoped to make it big with this album, and to boost Soul Coughing more into the public sphere. The "overplayed song" (read: popular) song on this album is the splendiferous song "Circles" which unlike most other Soul Coughing songs, actually made it to the radio. This song was remixed several times, and even had a spiff video made of it as well.

The album itself has a much peppier sound than the seemingly disillusioned and perhaps melancholy Ruby Vroom, and a lot more upbeat than the quieter Irresistable Bliss album. This is probably the album that would be good to start with out of the three officially released CDs of Soul Coughing's for the Soul Coughing newbie.

"El Oso means The Bear in Spanish. There was an old Soul Coughing tradition to draw bears on the set list, spurred by Sebastian who would pout until a bear was added."

"Sebastian likes me to draw pictures of bears on his set list, after we've all written it. The more notable recent bears--Champagne Glass-Shaped Weeping Bear, Aerosol Bear, Shriner Fez Bear, Digital Bear, El Oso con Queso y Jamon, Taco-Shaped Bear. People keep stealing his set lists from him after the shows, and it really bums him out. He likes the Bears as a souvenir. " - Doughty (11-94)

-- Soul Coughing Underground FAQ


Soul Coughing sounds nothing like the Ramones, but behind all the blatant stylistic differences, this NYC quartet, like that NYC quartet, is obsessed with the elementals of pop -- the least amount of tune necessary to make a song stick to your brain. To that end, they cultivate songs out of minimal but insistent hip-hop-derived rhythms and hummable hooks that they hammer home like twisted mantras. Many tracks have a gawky lo-fi charm ("Misinformed") while others venture into more (relatively) complex terrain. "Houston" packs a vintage vibe thanks to some retro keyboard sounds; toasty vocals give "Blame" a Caribbean flavor; "So Far I Have Not Found the Science" sounds like a warped reincarnation of a School House Rock math number. On the whole, El Oso is weirdly intriguing, but it relies more on clever composition than catharsis -- a trait that can be as irksome as it is quirksome.

--Sandy Masuo, off of cdnow.com

Song List:
1) Rolling
2) Misinformed
3) Circles
4) Blame
5) St. Louise is Listening
6) Maybe I'll Come Down
7) Houston
8) $300
9) Fully Retractable
10) Monster Man
11) Pensacola
12) I Miss the Girl
13) So Far I Have Not Found the Science
14) The Incumbent
15) 212 (Japanese Import version)
16) Rare Star Ball (Japanese Import version)

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