Once a band or artist really takes off, a sense of home may get lost as they travel the world. It's important to have that sense of home with you, and indie rockers Titus Andronicus make sure they keep that sentiment alive. Titus Andronicus keeps home in their hearts in A Productive Cough, an album that stays close to its roots but perhaps strays a bit too far off the path.
A sense of community is strong within A Productive Cough, it's grassroots atmosphere lending itself well to that feeling. 'Above The Bodega (Local Business)' perhaps captures that the best, it's jammy sound feeling like something you'd hear in a bar somewhere in the midwest (even though the band hails from New Jersey). It has that rundown, tightly knit vibe to it, though, that keeps that feeling alive. 'Real Talk' takes the jam aspect of that one step further, being a seven minute jam that is free from all restrictions. Perhaps, however, a bit too free.
The main issue with A Productive Cough is that it seems lost in the idea that it needs to be completely free. The underdog vibes of opening track 'Number One (In New York)' might be the culprit of this, bringing the album to a pretty strong and promising start. As the album goes on, it feels less and less directed. '(I'm) Like A Rolling Stone' certainly captures the blues rock vibes of The Rolling Stones, but for being almost nine minutes in length, it sort of misses the mark. Thankfully, the album ends on a high with the rocking riffs of 'Home Alone' and the slow, sad ballad 'Mass Transit Madness (Goin' Loco').'
Titus Andronicus keeps home in their hearts in A Productive Cough, maintaining a very raw sound that really sounds like it comes from the roots. While not very directed at times, its fervent nature lends itself nicely to the carefree vibe. It's a fun record, and with a little more direction it could've been a lot more.
Favorite Track: Number One (In New York)
Least Favorite Track: (I'm) Like A Rolling Stone
Rating: 66 / 100
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