It seems to have been an almost endless wait since Duffy's debut, the sublime `Rockferry', for her follow up album. Finally, here it is. But just what is it exactly?
With an original sound that reminded one of Lulu or Dusty Springfield in their prime, Duffy has tried to develop and alter her style a little bit. For me the slightly new direction doesn't work too well. She has moved away from the Phil Spectorish soul ballad backings that suited and framed her voice to a more modern sounding production that she almost has to fight against to make an impact. It doesn't quite suit her voice and does not provide as enjoyable listening experience as Rockferry. The best track on the album for me is `Don't Foresake Me', which follows the earlier style. There are good points here though - Duffy's vocal delivery is disitinctive and excellent, and there is some very good songwriting. It is just let down a bit by the choice of backing and production.
All in all the tracks sound a bit bland and samey, to my ears there are no real standout star tracks. They are all ok, and listenable, but no more than that really. With a bit more focus and a sympathetic production this could have been great, but not an album I will be returning to that often I think.
In all three stars. It's not terrible, but it doesn't really shine for me.