Friday, February 29, 2008

Rockferry - Duffy

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I'm probably going to get some stick for this review in certain circles, especially after giving Adele such a kicking recently. I'm in no doubt that I could even be accused of hypocrisy in some quarters.

Because let's get this out of the way right now; Duffy has assembled a wide-ranging of songwriters and producers on her debut album and given my opinon that Adele's 19 sounded like "album by record company committee" you would think that I would be against that. Except that wasn't my point. My point was that Adele's backers played it safe and gave her some very dull tunes indeed. And that was before that Brits "Critic's Choice" award REALLY got my goat.

But that's enough about the dull side of popular music in 2008 because Duffy is here to save the an extent anyway.

Mercy is a brilliant little pop tune (and it gladdened my heart to see it hit number one) but it's far from the only highlight on this rather wonderful debut. The opening, and title, track Rockferry is staggeringly good and I personally think the best is saved to last with the sublime Distant Dreamer. Yes the "60's" sound is identifiable but there's something timeless about Duffy when she gets it right.

Syrup and Honey is another winner, and it's minimalist backing only goes to prove that Duffy has the talent whatever the backing.

It's not all packed with winners, mind you, with a couple of tracks failing to excite but for the most part this is a very strong debut which not only delivers in the here and now, but promises so much for the future as well.

She's not Dusty Springfield of course, (though I do look forward to the Pet Shop Boys collaboration - actually if I win the lottery, I'll book them together to do What Have I Done To Deserve This?), but don't let lazy journalism put you off. Duffy is a rare talent indeed. And right about now, those that put their money on Adele might want to reconsider. Duffy is 2008's rising star.

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