Jim Dugan – Marigold

Jim Dugan

Never in my life have I heard a more pretentious album than Jim Dugan’s self-released and self-acclaimed gem, Marigold. At first listen, the album is pure cheese, with lyrics like: “I will give you water / I will drink with you my friend,” which refers to seeds Dugan planted at the age of 6. But upon further research on the album and Dugan himself, the sheer pretentiousness of the artist and his album shines through, making the album next to unlistenable.
Jim Dugan lists John Mayer as one of his prime influences yet, at the same time, also claims to be better than Mayer, stating that the tracks on Marigold “could effortlessly stand up against John Mayer’s Room For Squares.” Umm, how about no. Comparing yourself to a critically (not self-) acclaimed, Grammy award-winner with an album that barely even pales in comparison is not a good idea. Every track on Marigold is a carbon copy of each other. It is a boring and repetitive album trying to be groundbreaking, when in actuality it is too far above the ground, not to mention reality, to be breaking anything. Take for example the album’s closing track, “Om Shanti.” Yoga fanatics will recognize this phrase as a traditional prayer/chant used for relaxation. Dugan took the chant and made it into “an accessible pop song.” Well, it would be accessible if the song wasn’t so weird and affected that it instantly turns off listeners. Note to all aspiring musicians: ancient prayers are not a good framework when making “accessible pop songs.”
So now that I’ve trashed the album, I do have a few positive things to say about Mr. Dugan, well one positive thing: he can sing, and very well. Dugan’s voice is soft with a hint of roughness, and his passion and tenderness are apparent in every note sung. Dugan certainly has a love for music… and a love for himself. There’s nothing wrong with having faith in your work, but when your album comes across as a stuck-up attempt at becoming “the next big thing,” you might want to ease up on the confidence.
Now, I am sure I will get the usual slew of hate mail for writing such a negative review, but at times criticism is necessary and in Jim Dugan’s case there is a lot to criticize.