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

Jeff Buckley: So Real (Legacy/Sony)

Jeff Buckley: So Real (Legacy/Sony)

Given that when Buckley died over a decade ago he left only one complete album behind (the breathtaking Grace) and a couple of EPs, it seems to have been remarkably easy to keep the product coming.... > Read more

Rostam: Half Light (Nonesuch/Warner)

Rostam: Half Light (Nonesuch/Warner)

Any record company exec would be glad to sign Rostam Batmanglij as a solo artist after his role as mainman in the musically expansive and interesting Vampire Weekend who he also produced. His... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Peter Cook: Bedazzled (1968)

Peter Cook: Bedazzled (1968)

Although best seen in the context of the hilarious Bedazzled film -- where poor Dudley Moore is granted wishes by the Devil (the smarmy and petty Peter Cook) -- this song still resonates for its... > Read more

THELONIOUS MONK; THE LIFE AND TIMES OF AN AMERICAN ORIGINAL by ROBIN D.G. KELLEY

THELONIOUS MONK; THE LIFE AND TIMES OF AN AMERICAN ORIGINAL by ROBIN D.G. KELLEY

In late November 1963, a 5000 word profile of Thelonious Monk was scheduled to appear in Time magazine. Monk was to be the cover. An interviewer and jazz aficionado Barry Farrell from Time had... > Read more