Screw trying to confuse people over the course of an album, the at-times batshit crazy Cork powerhouse Ãine Duffy instead tries to wrong-step listeners around every verse, chorus and curiously meandering guitar line on her debut record. As obsessed with the dramatics of a song as Jack Lukeman was a decade before her, Duffy delves into industrial sounds, and casually throws in vocal styles which jump from jazz to modern opera.
At times, it feels like you’re being beaten up when listening to this, or at the very least like you’re in one of those rows with a girlfriend when you have absolutely no idea what you’ve done wrong. Duffy is a whirling, howling glass case of emotion but beyond that, she has some brilliantly bananas moments like -Been And Gone’ or the high-pitched theatrics of -Ask John’.
For those looking for something a little more gentle, where she allows her voice to be left unfettered by too many guitars and synths attacking from all angles, the beautiful double dose of -In A Day’ and -Paperback’ in the mid section should be more than enough; the latter building on a gorgeously simple acoustic riff into something you can imagine on a Parisian stage in the late ’20s. It’s not all good, though, the stodgy production job being the main culprit, particularly in the latter stages and the budget almost certainly wasn’t there to match the ambition. However, the fact that Duffy can dream all this generally charming oddness up should have plenty of people waiting for the next instalment with open arms.