Field Report, “Marigolden”
Chris Porterfield of Field Report has a knack for condensing emotional complexities and life struggles into witty metaphors, but while he succeeds at tackling tough issues with similes, his latest album lacks the musical breadth to separate it from generic, coffee-shop indie folk. With Marigolden, Porterfield shows off his flair for pretty imagery—even the album title evokes the sight of rolling fields of “orange and umber” flowers out in the unblemished Midwestern wilderness he hails from. But amidst the rustic production quality and the occasional twang of a slide guitar, the sonic gaps are too great to keep listeners enthralled by the story Porterfield is trying to tell. Marigolden has all the heart and sentiment of fellow sensitive bearded icon and former collaborator Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, but fails to impact on the same devastating emotional level. Porterfield may want to consider sticking to poems, as his skills as a wordsmith outweigh his musical ambition.