Duffy: Rockferry Sampler

May 13th marks the much anticipated American release of Duffy‘s album Rockferry. The album, which has reached at #1 on both the UK and Irish album charts, has already created quite a stir here in the States. I would simply be lying if I didn’t confess that we at PopWreck(oning) had bitten down on that Duffy hype, hard. This week, we were blessed by the amazing people at Cornerstone Promotions, who were nice enough to send us Duffy’s 5 song album sampler.

Below is my track by track opinion of the songs presented to us.

From the moment Duffy commands, “Hit the beat,” it’s pretty obvious how great of a song “Mercy” really is. Combining the better aspects of modern pop and R&B with the sounds of 1960’s soul, Duffy has formulated a song laced with hooks and bound for gold. Belting lyrics that reflect her conflicts of desiring a sexual relationship while also longing for more, Duffy’s voice shines through verses that will remain stuck in your head for days. Look for this single to be everywhere over the summer.

“Rockferry,” the second cut on the sampler, sports a much slower, vintage sound. I can picture myself hearing Duffy crank this song live at The Ryman. Duffy’s voice stands alone as the focus of the song, as the song’s backing instrumentation progressively builds around her. The songwriting structures seem to be well planned and placed with the point of following “Mercy.”

“Warwick Avenue” is a beautiful song. Period. With a soft, crooner feel to it, Duffy channels the songwriting styles of Diana Ross and Etta James. Her storytelling remains the center stage, as he belts out the most important sentences, like, “I didn’t want the train to come!” The simplicity of this song, borrowed from a simpler time in music history, helps this song feel timeless.

“Serious,” the sampler’s fourth track, sways away from the “dusted off records” concept of the album, opting for more of a Top-40, Fergie type feel. This is the kind of song that you sit back and nod your head to. While the song is pretty good, for what it is, in my opinion, it seems out of place alongside the previous three.

Duffy shows off her big voice on the sampler’s final track, “Distant Dreamer.” Her range is stellar and used in a way that highlights the purest aspects of her voice. Ranging from a lower, calm verse to a higher pitched chorus, she holds her own in regards to tone. It’s obvious that the notes Duffy reaches for are her, and not the product of a studio producer. While this song is a little, disco for me, I’m impressed by Duffy herself, and feel she deserves kudos.

You can check out Duffy’s songs, pics, and tour dates on her Myspace, or Official Website. Also, be sure to grab her album, Rockferry on A&M Records on May 13th.

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