The debut album from the multi award winning Welsh singer-songwriter, featuring the singles 'Mercy', 'Warwick Avenue' and 'Stepping Stone'.
, the Welsh singer's lovingly constructed debut album, has already succeeded beyond expectations, and although Duffy may not quite be the ingénue portrayed by a clever press campaign (she nearly won a local television talent show a few years back while a single credited to Aimee Duffy is still available on iTunes) she is surely the most appealing of the current flood of young soul sirens. The astonishing title track, co-written by Bernard Butler, sounded like a lost transmission that had taken decades to get through as soon as it hit radio last year. But the gently rolling soul ballad "Stepping Stone", that strapping, inescapable monster hit "Mercy", the ice cool "Serious" (the one time she really does channel the spirit of Dusty Springfield) and the wistful, elegant "Warwick Avenue" are similarly effective. Suggestions by some that Rockferry
is little more than sixties pastiche are churlish. Butler's previous work with David McAlmont (featured here as a backing singer) showed his skill at writing and arranging the dramatic, while her other collaborators such as Steve Booker and the team of Jimmy Hogarth and Eg White are hardly lightweights. But despite some wonderful orchestral settings, it's Duffy's terrific voice that makes this so satisfying, even overpowering Butler's exquisitely underplayed guitar work on "Rockferry" itself. Growling the blues on "Syrup & Honey" or belting it out over his lovingly arranged wall of sound on "Distant Dreamer", she sets the tone throughout, several of her songs dealing with escape, both physical and romantic. The sound of someone singing herself to stardom, Rockferry
is at times genuinely amazing. Steve Jelbert