Recording information: West Heath Studios.
On her 2008 debut, ROCKFERRY, Welsh pop/soul singer Duffy (born Aimee Ann Duffy) presents a charming, retro-leaning set of songs that bring to mind a 21st century Dusty Springfield. Mentored by ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, who produced much of the album and contributes instrumentation on most tracks, Duffy wisely allows her warm, cat-like voice to get comfortable in a variety of settings, from the twangy, Lee Hazlewood-like title track to the dreamy "Warwick Avenue," and then the lively, Motown-tinged "Mercy." Garnering some expected comparisons to Amy Winehouse, Duffy carefully avoids that performer's brand of over-the-top drama, preferring to travel down a quieter and undeniably beautiful back road.
What the critics say...
Rolling Stone (p.66) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "With assistance from former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, who doodles Beatlesesque solos and provides evocative retro production, Duffy makes a case for herself as Amy Winehouse's better-behaved sister."
Entertainment Weekly (p.121) - "[W]hen Duffy slows the tempo for 'Rockferry' and 'Hanging On Too Long,' her voice stretches to spectacular heights." -- Grade: A-
Uncut (p.84) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "The title track is a great calling card, where she starts low and husky before suddenly leaping a whole octave to belt out the second chorus."
Q (Magazine) (p.100) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Kicking off with the terrific, yearning title track, it' an album that openly borrows from the past, chiming perfectly with the modish demand for retro-soul."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.102) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[H]er daydreaming does produce some great stuff....Notable are 'Warwick Avenue' and 'Stepping Stone'; both are head-against-the-bus-window-tracing-the-raindrops melancholia..."
- Warwick Avenue
- Stepping Stone
- Syrup & Honey
- Hanging On Too Long
- Delayed Devotion
- Distant Dreamer
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