When I was younger I went through this phase when I wanted to move to the UK. I had never been there before and didn't really have any idea what I would do when I got there. I just wanted to be there to experience the music scene. I loved everything coming out of London from new wave music to Terence Trent D'Arby . The music from London during that time period was so beautiful, soulful, insightful and moving it made me wanna live in the city when I listened to it.
I can't say I wanna move to Wales (though I am sure it is beautiful, but I do wanna visit London again) and this time Duffy is the reason. From the laid back blues of "Syrup and Honey" to the Motown inspired pop of "I'm Scared" and the playful 60's romp "Mercy" this chick simply "gets it!" Duffy sings her heart out on the piano ballad "Save It for Your Heart" and channels Dusty Springfield on the title cut "Rockferry." If this was where it ended the CD would be fiyah, but there's more! The second single "Warwick Avenue" is an instant classic. It's a melancholy pop send up that channels vintage Smokey Robinson with a committed and nuanced vocal by Duffy. My personal favorite is "Stepping Stone" a great pop tune with a biting lyric and late 60's inspired arrangement that brings to mind a Dionne Warwick track or the ethereal arrangement in Aretha's Until You Come Back to Me.
The tunes are well crafted pop joints with a healthy dose of soul (as in humans all have souls so anything sung passionately is soul music). Duffy is serious about delivering the goods without taking herself too seriously.This CD manages to evoke memories of great musical moments past while managing to sound and feel fresh and liberating.
Haters beware, the comparisons to Amy Winehouse are off base and actually kind of ridiculous. Mercy is the only joint that is remotely similar to a Winehouse track and even that's a bit of a stretch. If Rockferry has any weakness it lies in the fact that it is very very retro inspired (almost to the point of imitation).
I am well aware of the Elvis syndrome that black musicians rightfully complain about when an otherwise mediocre white artist gets serious props for doing average interpretations of black music, this simply is NOT one of those instances. The Obama inspired/post race world isn't yet a reality, but race has nothing to do with the quality of this CD. Duffy simply delivers the goods in a sincere and passionate way that resonates with music lovers of all colors.
Rockferry is a release full of great songs delivered passionately by a capable young artist. I for one am thankful for a CD I can listen to from start to finish and feel refreshed when it comes to a soulful end. Rockferry is a release full of great songs delivered passionately by a capable young artist. Man it feels good to actually like a CD again.
4.5 out of 5 stars
The cuts you must hear - Stepping Stone and Warwick Avenue