Release Date: 5/13/08
Does the world need another Amy Winehouse? If the answer is yes, then Duffy will suffice. On Rockferry, the Welsh songstress follows the Winehouse trend of mixing neo- soul with glossy production; the outcome is light, ambling, and adult radio-friendly.
Duffy (whose first name is Aimee) has a vocal delivery that is less brassy than the U.K. contemporary to whom she will forever be compared. She is also more of a one-note wonder, with songs of similar tempos, keys and themes that create an album so consistent it is nearly devoid of standout tracks. The exception is “Mercy”, in which a danceable beat and chorus of “yeah yeah yeah” is a victim’s version of Winehouse’s stubborn “no no no.”
There are moments, such as the title song, where a belted note borders on chill-inducing; there are also moments when smoky embellishments mask notes that are borderline flat. In truth, there is nothing completely offensive about Rockferry or the existence of yet another British blue-eyed soul singer. Is the album necessary? No. Would it have rocked the world two years ago, before the “other” Amy’s Back to Black? Hard to say, but chances are we’re paying attention to Duffy only because of who she’s not. – Linda Leseman
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