A Productive Cough

Titus Andronicus - A Productive Cough
Critic Score
Based on 23 reviews
2018 Ratings: #711 / 833
User Score
Based on 71 ratings
2018 Ratings: #672
March 2, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Merge / Label
Indie Rock / Genres
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Slant Magazine

A Productive Cough is Titus Andronicus's freshest, wildest, most unexpected work to date.

A.V. Club

A Productive Cough ... is almost entirely devoid of the band’s guitar-driven grandiosity. Instead, mastermind Patrick Stickles has embraced those eclectic influences and concocted a punk gospel record, a collection of secular hymns for the modern world meant not to be sung in churches but shouted in bars by strangers coming together to confront the misery of everyday living.

Under The Radar

You can never accuse Titus Andronicus of being without conviction, and A Productive Cough might be their strongest case yet. It's refreshingly concise, yet fiery and lyrically on point.

Loud and Quiet
With ‘A Productive Cough’, [email protected] has assembled a near perfect album, radiating his passion for capriciousness and publicly eschewing his “fear-based” folk-punk scream-o.

If you're fond of the notion of rock & roll as folk music, A Productive Cough is something you'll want to hear, an album that captures the roar of the masses in an unexpected way, and if you've loved the songs of Titus Andronicus as much as their music, you'll find this isn't quite so different as you might think.

Drowned in Sound

What’s interesting about A Productive Cough is how accessible it is compared with the band’s past work.

NOW Magazine

Titus Andronicus’s fifth album doesn’t change the battle plan, but employs more of the band’s infrequently used weapon, namely ballistic folk buoyed by a love of traditional arrangements. But there’s still an indomitable punk fury, and A Productive Cough is the most hopeful Titus Andronicus record yet.


A Productive Cough deserves praise ... for lowering Titus Andronicus's difficulty curve without compromising their fatalistic worldview. No longer fixated solely on characters' internal turmoil, Stickles has started to peer outward.


Although A Productive Cough feels repetitious and aimless at times, there's no questioning the level of dedication and skill behind its many bursts of dense boisterousness.

FLOOD Magazine

Stickles’s poetic currency enriches the mundane, and while his words may not be glamorous, they are relatable.


Despite occasional attempts at restraint and the fact it’s only seven songs long, A Productive Cough provides Titus Andronicus with another bold manifesto. They might have varied the volume, but they’re still railing with their customary resolve.


A Productive Cough is not a bad album, but it’s not Titus Andronicus’ greatest moment. Part of the problem comes from the high expectations set by the band’s previous work, and to some degree the drawn out jam sections that occasionally go on just a little too long. Dig deeper into the lyrics however, and you’ll find an album that at times has considerable depths.

The Line of Best Fit

If there’s any throwaway albums in Titus Andronicus’ decently lengthy discography, A Productive Cough is exactly that. It’s half magical, lush, and wholesome, and half redundant.

Spectrum Culture

Even if it doesn’t pay off in the way that some of the best Titus Andronicus material does, A Productive Cough is an impressively daring gambit from an artist too restless to keep churning out the same old crap each time out.


For all its promises of a leisurely, good time, A Productive Cough plays like a quarantine.

The 405

Next to the tightly written and recorded The Most Lamentable Tragedy, A Productive Cough sounds just like that: a small, vaguely satisfying ejection of hot air.

The drunken bardsmiths of sloppy, angry punk have finally gone soft, and the rot goes all the way to the core.
The Needle Drop

Though there are a few strokes of genius on A Productive Cough, too often Titus Andronicus relies simply on the novelty of mimicking a bar band to sell the album.

The Skinny
While it's absolutely fine that he's not interested in making punk music anymore (or at least for the time being), hearing him run through the blues and rock repertoire of the 60s and 70s offers absolutely nothing that can't be achieved by just going and listening to all those great, original, records.

Titus Andronicus have always melted together the music of their heroes, but this time it feels completely without inspiration.

The Observer

As a whole, A Productive Cough seems as underdeveloped as its back-of-a-medicine-bottle title: there are great moments, but four songs top the seven-minute mark without enough to justify it.

Wtf is this? Stickles misfires tremendously on this, thinking his vocal style will mesh well with down tempo instrumentation. its an abomination actually, saved only by the risk factor. There's mostly nothing salvageable here.
I never thought I could be bored by a Titus Andronicus album.
Si bien es cierto que el quinto largo de los de Nueva Jersey no es un mal álbum, penaliza, y mucho, el mero hecho de ser el sucesor de su obra maestra. Este "A Productive Cough" peca de grandilocuente y la broma no hace gracia. El chiste, mejor para un contexto justificado con canciones. Las únicas seis que contiene no se defienden ellas solas. Una pena.
Cool name but also how about some substance to ur music? Holy fuck this was way too long and unmemorable. There were some nice tracks here but overall I was left with a sense of distaste and nothingness after hearing this. Coming off from his last album uhhh what the fuck happened?
Okay so as much as I want to like every Titus Andronicus album, this one is a little bland.

There isn't much in terms of songwriting, even the instrumentals just feel so generic. I guess if I don't compare it the band previous work its still a "meh" rock album.
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Year End Lists

#17/Slant Magazine

Track List

  1. Number One (In New York)
  2. Real Talk
  3. Above the Bodega (Local Business)
  4. Crass Tattoo
  5. (I'm) Like a Rolling Stone
  6. Home Alone
  7. Mass Transit Madness (Goin' Loco')
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Added on: January 4, 2018