It brings me great difficulty to write a review like this because I always try to find the best in everything. Duffy is an artist I have the utmost respect for, but her sophomore release Endlessly leaves me hard-pressed to say much positive. Trying to build on the success of her Grammy-winning debut Rockferry has proven somewhat of a daunting task as stylistically Duffy has established herself as an Artist who pays homage heavily to the '60s. When she first surfaced late 2007, a bit of a Motown Renaissance was taking place in Pop Music. Now that the craze has faded, where is Duffy's place now as audiences find themselves obsessed with the likes of Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Rihanna?
Teaming together with Songwriting partner Albert Hammond has been met with mixed results and our first warning was lackluster and melodically-lacking first single Well, Well, Well. Make no mistake, Hammond himself is an incredibly talented Writer, responsible for important masterpieces like One Moment in Time (Whitney Houston), Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now (Starship), Don't Turn Around (Ace of Base) and many more. Something gets lost on Endlessly which had been v. prevalent on Duffy's collaborations with Bernard Butler on her debut Disc. It is a pity that Duffy's falling-out with former Management, Rogue Trade, has in effect eliminated the source of that magical sweet spot she had reached.
What mars this Disc most is its own ambition to be something progressive - going as far as to reach out to Hip-Hop act The Roots - when all that was needed simply was songs which show off and make full use of that magical instrument of a voice she possesses. Rockferry was one part sap, one part sass and unapologetically so and audiences found this charming. Hammond sadly, is unable to harness the same magic from Duffy as a Co-Producer/Writer. The material just isn't there overall, despite a couple brighter moments like Disco-infused My Boy and Keeping My Baby (featuring additional Production from Stuart Price).
Duffy's Endlessly hits stores in North America on December 7, 2010 via Universal Music. Grade: D