Album Review: Duffy, ‘Endlessly’ (A&M)

Our rating:

Newest release from the soul pop songstress

Pastiche. Too knowing and it’s irritating, too slavish and it’s flat, but beware the ‘modern twist’. Witness the disco-tango-pop of [b]‘Keeping My Baby’[/b], a low point on [a]Duffy[/a]’s mostly decent second album. Produced with [b]?uestlove[/b] of [a]The Roots[/a] and [b]Albert Hammond Sr[/b] (yes, the [a]Stroke[/a]’s dad), [b]‘Endlessly’[/b] is best when it doesn’t try so hard. The hip-hop tinged [b]‘My Boy’[/b] and the muscular soul pop of [b]‘Well, Well, Well’[/b] are perfectly pitched, if at odds with the likes of [b]‘Too Hurt To Dance’[/b], which perpetuates the [b]Little Eva[/b]-sings-[b]Soul Dusty[/b] shtick perfected on [b]‘Rockaway Beach’[/b]. That cat-in-a-swing-coat yowl will still be a divider for many, but it’s a snag of human individuality in a smooth, if mixed package.

Duncan Gillespie