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Duffy - 'Mercy'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:08 UK time, Saturday, 16 February 2008

DuffyIt'd be too easy to dismiss this lady as another post-Winehouse cash-in. Another attempt by money-starved record labels to re-create a sales landslide which started a year and a half ago, by getting in a young female singer with impressive soul pipes, give her an authentic sounding Motown workover with a name producer (in this case Bernard Butler, who has some experience in this regard), and praying to God that 2008 isn't the year that everyone goes metal, or something.

But that wouldn't really be fair, especially as there's real personality in Duffy's voice, and this is a much sparkier affair than the slight, dreary 'Rockferry', which just seemed like the musical equivalent of model railway building - a scaled down version of something which made far more sense in its original context.

And there's no doubt that she's done better out of her deal with Mr Butler than Adele did with James Morrison's producer, in that the whole production seems to serve her, rather than the other way around.

Also, shrugging off the advances of any new British female soul singers is hardly fair in a climate of massively similar male acoustic troubadours, is it? A point which the Realplayer blog has already made very forcibly...

So...having listed all the reasons why this deserves a fair listen, what's it like? Well, assuming you haven't already played the video above - seriously, what are you doing coming here to read a description of the music using words, when the actual music is freely available on the same page? We've got other things to talk about! - it's like 'Stand By Me' by Ben E. King (last heard being ironed flat by Sean Kingston) crossed with 'Chain Of Fools' by Aretha Franklin, crossed with 'Where Are You Baby?' by Betty Boo, only livelier.

It's also a brilliant way of proving that less is more, given that Duffy only really sings one note throughout, with those soul inflections taking her hither and thither. Looks like this gold rush might be won or lost on a song-by-song basis, which involves using our taste glands for sifting purposes and not accepting things which should be precious but aren't.

We're panning for nuggets, people! Yee-HA!

Four starsDownload: Out now
CD Released:
February 25th

(Fraser McAlpine)


  1. At 06:36 PM on 17 Feb 2008, Steven wrote:

    I have to say i love this song, it's much better than adele with chasing pavements, but the video is rubbish it definately needed more money spent on everything from clothes to the dancers. I love both of Duffys songs and think Rockferry is vastly underated.

  2. At 12:37 PM on 04 Mar 2008, kerry carrick wrote:

    i love you song it is really good i have download your song and i have got it on my phone you are a great singer well done you rock

  3. At 10:06 AM on 03 Apr 2008, JAF wrote:

    I got another song 4 u:

    Am I Bothered

    Sitting at the desk listening to the teacher droning on about s***. I’m trying to concentrate but all I can think about is socialising with my mates outside. Who needs school anyway I ask myself? The teacher finds me not paying attention and I say to him

    I’m trying to concentrate but this lesson is just rubbish. Who wants to know about E = MC2? All I’m trying to do is be a teenage rebel in front of my mates. Everybody has a little bit of a rebellious side. I want to be like Kevin, Lauren or Vicky Pollard who are teenage characters. I want to be like Kevin saying “do I have to?” . I also want to be like Lauren saying Am I bothered. I want to be like Vicky Pollard Saying Yeah but no but.

    Now I’m going to the principal’s office. The teacher obviously thought my behaviour was despicable but I thought I was expressing how I feel. Mind I know I wasn’t cool about it but you know. Well I suppose being a teenage rebel is good cos you get such a high from getting told off. I think I’m an adrenaline junkie

    As a result of my behaviour I’ve been excluded. It looks like I’m gonna have to clean up my act. It just ain’t cool is it? People tell me. Well I suppose being a teenage rebel is good cos you get such a high from getting told off. I think I’m an adrenaline junkie.

    A year later I’m pregnant and I’m only 15. I want to get out of my house as soon as I turn 16. Other people aren’t ready to grow up but I am. I’ve got an ASBO, caution and yes I’m proud of it. I’m gonna get a council flat soon so you can go away and kiss my ass. I don’t care what people say cos I’m gonna b e a chav. A typical chav of that too. I ain‘t got any GCSEs. (CHORUS)

    I HOPE U LIKE IT:))))))))

    [Well, it's a little harsh at the end, but sure! - Fraser]

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