Backlash Fodder: can Duffy survive 2008's female soul-singer avalanche?

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My counterpart here on the Toilet, Mof, has made his opinion clear recently – when it comes to ’08′s post-Winehouse soulstress onslaught, he’s in Candie Payne’s camp. Although to be fair to Payne she’s been plugging away for a while now, and in my opinion deserves a break on the strength of “One More Chance” alone.
But what of Duffy? The Welsh singer is being hyped as one of the year’s solo stars, alongside fellow large-lunged warbler Adele. As with Winehouse, she’s got some heavyweight collaborators, although not quite as starry as Ronson: Bernard Butler and David McAlmont are in her camp, which will do her no harm in the swelling strings and soaring choruses department.
Her album, Rockferry, is due out in March on Polydor. With the record industry going through difficult times, you can take it as read that it needs to be an instant hit for the major label to stick with her. I seem to be one of the few who didn’t fall in love with the title track instantly, and it’s shocking these days how willing one is to write artists off on the strength (or weakness) of one song.


Because make no mistake – having watched her performance of “Warwick Avenue” on Later (which you can see below), it becomes clear that Duffy may be the most naturally talented of 2008′s new wave of nouveaux-Dustys.
Now, I want to make it clear that I’m not traditionally a “But He / She Has An Amazing Voice” apologist. Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey have / had amazing voices, and that never prevented them from producing absolute aural excrement. But in the performance below I was struck by how unnatural the sound emanating from such a young, petite woman seemed. Um, in a good way.
Let’s just hope that a) this gift doesn’t find itself abused by Aguilera-style over-emoting, and b) she gets the songs that will do her voice justice. She won’t fall down on lack of exposure, that’s for sure.

[video: polydor]
[image: iamduffy.com]

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