Ryan Auffenberg’s website describes his sound as “Joy Division plays the Eagles.” A more appropriate description would be “Glen Frey plays the Eagles.” Auffenberg’s first album on Evangeline Records, Marigolds, is just as earnest and overwrought as many Eagles songs, without any attempt at rock.
Beginning with the title track, Auffenberg creates a sad, mid-tempo sound that continues for ten songs and about forty minutes. He has a soft and sweet voice that hovers over music based strongly in country/folk roots. The problem is that it never picks up speed, which makes Marigolds seem much, much longer than it is. The final song, “Alright, Okay,” contains surprisingly up-tempo banjo pickin’, but it is far too late to pull it from the morass.
“Undercover” is the best example of similarity to the Eagles, and could have been lifted wholesale from the One of These Nights album. There is a lot of languid slide guitar over a washboard with vocals akin to “Lyin’ Eyes.”
The entire time this album was playing, I couldn’t help but think of the brilliant SNL Digital Short where Ben Stiller proclaims, “I’m gonna have Glen Frey stank all over me.” This is tremendously mean-spirited and unprofessional, but true. Basically, this review boils down to if you like the sad, slow songs of the Eagles, you might enjoy Marigolds.