There are not many artists in 2011 as prolific as Mike Doughty. He’s just unleashed his first entirely electronic album (Dubious Luxury: check out the review later this week), there’s a book due next year, oh, and a little thing called Yes And Also Yes which you are reading about right now and hopefully buying after finishing this.

Of the music that is thrown at consumers/listeners year after year, it’s very rare that you find one single album that is consistently good from start to finish let alone an artist who consistently puts out albums that are good from start to finish. Mike Doughty puts out those kinds of albums and is that kind of artist.

On Yes And Also Yes, Doughty has put together a unique collection of songs that transcends goodness. It’s so good, in fact, that it should be required listening for a new college course that I just created dubbed “Good Album Making 101”.

Not convinced yet? Good, because I love talking about this album. Beginning with the highly infectious “Na Na Nothing” which was co-written by Nikki Sixx (Yes, THAT Nikki Sixx), Dan Wilson (Semisonic), and Matt Gerrard (High School Musical), Yes… starts with a short, concise song that sticks in your head long after it’s done. Much like the 13 tracks that follow will do.

The tell of a great album is not only a song that grabs you out of the gates but the follow-up song (Or as I like to call it, track # 2) that needs to hold onto your attention and keep you around for the rest. “Into The Un” picks up where “Na Na Nothing ” left off and is as good, if not better, than the opener. There’s a driving beat, Doughty’s unmistakable voice coupled with some fast acoustic strums and electronic flourishes to make it “Un”forgettable (That was bad, wasn’t it?).

“Day By Day By” sees Doughty in a groove switching between spoken-word verses and a hypnotic chorus while “Holiday (What Do You Want)” pairs him with the legendary Rosanne Cash for, quite possibly, the duet of the year. Mid-album there’s the one-two punch of “Have At It” and “Mekelloser Mann” that barely equates to 3 minutes combined yet are equally compelling. The former is a country rock banger of a song with some organ thrown on top for good measure and the latter is reminiscent of a spy movie or an old school B’52’s classic (Think “Rock Lobster”/”Planet Claire”-era).

I could go on but this is an album that demands you listen to it for yourself (Ok, more like asks really politely). Yes And Also Yes is out now and it’s unbelievably good. Don’t take my word for it, though, let the music do the talkin’.

Grade: A

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