Duffy: Endlessly (Universal)

 |   |  1 min read

Duffy: Girl
Duffy: Endlessly (Universal)

Poor Duffy. The preview tracks for her debut album Rockferry had everyone hailing her as one of the great new voices (even though she referred to classic pop and soul traditions) but when the album did arrive -- with some admittedly weaker tracks -- a section of the British press turned on her. They got in with the backlash even before the album was in stores.

But not so poor Duffy -- because Rockferry (justifiably) scooped up Brit awards (three including best album), sales in the many multiple millions and was nominated for three Grammys.

But it's poor Duffy time again because this album is not a patch on its predecesor, despite help from songwriter Albert Hammond Snr in the co-writing and co-production departments, and the Roots on board. But large swathes of this sound like she has abandoned that naturally powerful, soulful voice for some helium-inhaling and stabbing dance beats and synths which strip this of the human component.

Duffy at 26 seems to have regressed and is pitching herself as a late teen popette on material like the godwawful opener My Boy, the exceptionally irritating Well Well Well which sounds much longer than it 2.43 and the truly horrible Lovestruck.

When she gets into reflective mode (Don't Forsake Me with it soulful edge over strings and a distant "choral" part) it is much better (although even there she still isn't as interesting as similar songs on that debut). The title track is full of promise (although lyrically not up to much) but even here her vocals seem tight and, for want of a better phrase, adolescent.

Girl, towards the end -- if you get there -- is poppy and kinda cool.

You'd loved to have heard her do the interesting Child's Play a couple of years back. You suspect it would have benefited from a much more belting and resonant delivery free of the end-of-line quiver which sounds like a substitute for real emotion.

You don't look forward to "the difficult third album".

Poor Duffy?

Poor us. 

Share It

Your Comments

Leesa P - Dec 7, 2010

I concur!
Yikes that first single - please god make it stop! I find myself wanting to stick a pencil in my eye and roll it round for a bit just for some relief....

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Various Artists: Deutsche Elektronische Musik 2 (Soul Jazz/Southbound)

Various Artists: Deutsche Elektronische Musik 2 (Soul Jazz/Southbound)

Following a previous, generously inclusive double CD collection of Seventies/Eighties German electronic music comes this compilation in an equally unimaginative and horrible cover. It ticks... > Read more

The Fratellis: Here We Stand (Island)

The Fratellis: Here We Stand (Island)

Last year's debut album Costello Music by this rowdy Glaswegian three-piece didn't make it to Elsewhere because, frankly, I didn't rate it as highly as some. I thought it had many of the problems... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER MARK ROSE continues his search for perfect food in Japan

GUEST WRITER MARK ROSE continues his search for perfect food in Japan

Situated in the basement of an office building in Tokyo's Ginza district, the critically-acclaimed restaurant Sushi Mizutani is a nine-seat sushi bar – a very simple room without fuss. The... > Read more

SNAPSHOTS OF STRANGENESS: A Collection of Odd Anecdotes

SNAPSHOTS OF STRANGENESS: A Collection of Odd Anecdotes

Walt Disney Regrets Last week I spent a morning in the company of a woman who has a curious obsession: she collects soundtracks to those Walt Disney nature programmes which occasionally still... > Read more