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Box Heart Man

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Album Review

Mark Dignam begins this album with a light and dreamy blend of pop and alt country on "Divine," which describes the track quite well. Coming from a crop of singer/songwriters who would include Josh Ritter and Josh Rouse, Dignam uses his strong timbre to nail each song to near perfection in the way Ryan Adams honed Gold. "Build" on the other hand is a kind of electro-roots tune with a political message that ambles along easily thanks to Dignam's brilliant melody, a talent that the musician seems to create constantly. "Hope" is more radio-friendly in a pop mode and could be mistaken for the Go-Betweens with the dual harmonies. Perhaps the lone effort that could be mildly disappointing is "Pinwheel" which seems like a patio pop tune in the vein of John Mayer. The miscue is atoned for with the gorgeous, precious and somewhat hymn-like "Ghosts" that has the singer downplaying the vocals in an almost monotone fashion à la a Celtic Lou Reed. The mid-tempo and infectious "Jane" could often be mistaken for a track by the Proclaimers, but Dignam gives it more bite here. Perhaps the highlight is "Kindred" which is a simple roots tune but with the singer opening up vocally and melodically. A close second, though, is the melancholic and very vivid "Deceiver" that is pure Americana from an Irish perspective. On the whole Box Heart Man is an album extremely well-crafted and adventurous at the same time.

Customer Reviews

Album of the year!

Mark Dignam, who remains a relative unknown, has crafted the best album of 2005. Dignam's down-to-earth lyrics and soaring vocals enchant the listener. "Divine," "Pinwheel," and "Ghosts" are especially strong tracks.


Born: Dublin, Ireland

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s

Irish born, United States-based singer/songwriter Mark Dignam crafts accessible, politically charged, witty, and reflective observations of life, love, and death in the spirit of Van Morrison, Billy Bragg, John Wesley Harding, and Josh Ritter. Originally a Dublin busker (alongside Frames/Swell Season frontman Glenn Hansard), Dignam released numerous albums before...
Full Bio
Box Heart Man, Mark Dignam
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Customer Ratings