If albums were like diaries--and Duffy's saccharine performance at Café de Paris helps that girlish metaphor along--Endlessly documents the calm after the Rockferry storm, after a young woman has swept up the pieces from a devastating heartbreak and is ready to put love back on the chopping block. Seeing that audiences have come to expect emotionally broken songs like her pleading, albeit uptempo breakout single "Mercy" and her tearful ballad "Warwick Avenue," Duffy's sophomore effort comes from a overall stronger place. Her fans may need time to warm up to it. Endlessly's tracks "Well, Well, Well" and "My Boy" have the crowd-pleasing cheeky pop appeal that stays true to her '60s-tinged sound, while "Lovestruck" could be better tackled by a more sexually theatrical singer like Kylie Minogue. But Duffy's moving title track "Endlessly" conjures a genuine longing in it' stripped-down simplicity, making for one of the best tracks on the album--romantic film soundtrack compilers, take note.
As a live performer, however girl-next-door she may appear (until the camera pans down to reveal a scandalous skirt), Duffy's voice resonates with the warbling vibrato of someone far beyond her 26 years. Since her arrival, critics have been comparing Duffy to her tabloid darling predecessor Amy Winehouse, and her success might have been due to the industry's need for a new big, soulful voice that wouldn't land in rehab. Nevertheless, she still has chops that are unique and captivating enough to set her apart, given the right producers, the right niche, and perhaps, the right kind of heartache.
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