Sunday, November 9

Rockferry Review

I'm taking an important break before continuing about the President-elect Obama events.

Anywhere in the world, by now, you've heard the song, "Mercy," tens of times a day on the air. The first time I heard it, my co-worker had her radio turned up as usual. I thought it was some kind of old, Motown song that I must not have heard or noticed before. But there it was again, after only an hour or two, playing on the radio...and again and again throughout the day...and the next day...I also happened to be channel surfing one afternoon and caught part of the music video. Who is this Duffy girl?

After some wikipeding and myspace surfing... Duffy, or Aimee Anne Duffy, is a Welsh 24 year old waitress-turned-singer. She released her first single, "Rockferry," at the end of last year, followed by her second single, "Mercy," this spring. I recently reviewed her entire album guided by her official website and imeem (yes, I cheated, but legally); the album is surprisingly rather impressive. In a weird way, she reminds me of a jazzier version of Natalie Imbruglia, perhaps closer to Norah Jones--authentic in her own way, but built on the brilliance of iconic music.

I was on imeem last night listening to The Supremes (don't you love "Upside Down?") and thought of the peculiar yet intended similarity between the two generations of sound. The common factor, at least the clearest of them, is arguably talent. Duffy's talent is no joke. Although her band members have changed throughout the past few years in the compilation of her first album, "Rockferry," Duffy's voice steals the spotlight. In fact, as far as vocals go, I don't think "Mercy" showcases her as well as tracks like "Stepping Stone" and "Warwick Avenue."

And unlike Ms. Winehouse, this one seems to have a pretty good head on her shoulders, as Ms. Duffy has handled her rise to fame with maturity thus far. It will be interesting to see future tracks and collaborations from her as she explores the rich sound she seems to have tapped into.

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