67 thoughts on “Adele or Duffy?

  1. Based on the evidence of Jools last night (which was live, lest we forget), it’s Adele all the way.Or am I allowed to choose secret option (c), Laura Marling?

  2. One has to like a piece of music to have their soul touched by it, so yes, to a degree, my liking it has to play a part! But I’ll leave your counter-snipe there.Soul has its roots in gospel, so it generally takes on a spiritual element. The vocal stylings of these two are pretty unremarkable, affected and decidedly not very spiritual. Can you honestly say they’ve released songs that sent your heart aflutter a la Aretha, tracks that you can’t help but dance to like the Jackson 5 or tunes that can move you to tears like Al Green?Or is their music, as I suspect, just background noise you can hum along to as you drive home along the M25?Nice tunes, maybe, but not soul. Ergo – cod soul.

  3. I wish to make a third call for the Laura Marling proposal.Adele or Duffy? I’m disappointed this question happened. I’ve just eaten lunch.

  4. Adele only because people keep calling here “adelly” and I find it funny. Can I say I do like partisanship in music, you should be a mod or a punk, indie kid or a raver this moral relativism “oh i like everything” is post modern nonsense you are durannie or a Spandie and should stay that way until death! It’ll be good for us now that the cold war is restarting !! 🙂

  5. I’ve been trying to think of a witty Dover Sole joke based on Swineshead’s ‘Cod’ comment… but I’ve had to give up.Duffy, based on the Syrup & Honey clip on YouTube.PS – Thanks for the tip on Laura Marling who I haven’t heard yet

  6. Duffy. Adele irritates me beyond belief and I have a soft spot for Welsh female singers.Re Putneyed: apparently something rather disgusting. You’re best off googling it.

  7. Good to see the Laura Marling bandwagon on here. Her album is along with British Sea Power and The Ruby Suns right at the top of my list for this year. A stunning debut, a great live performer and a sweet girl too.

  8. I’m going Adele because:(a) Her first song, Hometown Glory, is still brilliant (and much better than bloody Chasing Pavements); (b) I interviewed her and she is very, very funny and swears like a trooper;(c) I heard about a phone-call she had with one of her friends, the spoken-word artist Dockers MC, which went like this: “Alright Dockers! Guess what? Woke up, hung over, cream egg stuck to my leg.”(d) She has better eye make-up.Done!

  9. just googled it myself, I could have lived my whole life happily enough without knowing that..The answer is Duffy by the way as I saw her live and it was pretty bloody good and exceptionally easy on the eye.

  10. I object to the idea that I’m being “spoonfed shit”, Swineshead. I like what I like for reasons of what it sounds like, as we’ve established before – nothing deeper than that, but I don’t accept that I’m being spoonfed just because I didn’t go out and discover Adele for myself singing to herself in a pub. Was I being “spoonfed” when I used to hear a band on Peel and go and buy their record? How are we to appreciate music without being “spoonfed” to a degree? I didn’t care that much for Adele when I first heard her, but her voice has grown on me. That’s a pretty organic process, I would say.And is Duffy a “singing sheep” because of her nationality, Oldnathan? Let us sincerely hope not. (And if that’s not the implication, I will stand corrected.)It always amazes me how much vitriol comes out on here when I say I like a female singer who in some way has not been vetoed for credibility.(Mind you, I am rather pleased that such a lot of comment, much of it dripping with bile, can be generated by a blog entry containing just one word.)

  11. Bloody hell, what are you accusing me of? Nothing to do with nationality no. She just sounds like a bloody sheep.If you think I’m trying to wriggle out of some borderline racism have a look at the Radcliffe & Maconie thread on the BBC R2 website where I made it perfectly clear.

  12. I don’t want to entangle Nathan in my argument, but at no point have he or I been sexist. So you can bank that idiocy for a start.I stand by ‘Spoonfed’. Totally. This shit is coming out of the TV and the radio without permission. I am the Slime, as Zappa said. It’s flash in the pan. We’ll talk in five years and recall how crap it was, guaranteed.I suppose, despite loving your TV/film reviews and totally agreeing with your 90s stance on music when i was growing up (I’m a 29 ex NME reader to put this in perspective) I’m a little disappointed by the music you champion here. It’s dross!Do you want me to send you some mp3s? Via muxtape? I’m more than happy to. It might stop you listening to the spoonfed stuff.For gawd’s sake, listen to Marbles by Tindersticks again and you’ll hear more soul in one second than Adele can fart out in a year. And don’t fucking talk to me about LillyBBC3Allen. Get your soul back.

  13. Also – if you want bile, just return to WWM. Click my name to read ‘orrid TV blogs kids! We ain’t in it for the money, mummy!Love you AC, sorry for being a shitbag.

  14. Over the past few years I’ve found some of the criticisms that have been thrown at young female performers to be incredible over the top. The likes of Kate Nash, Lily Allen and so on got so much more flax about the way they came into the music scene compared to an entirely similar entry point for a band like The Kooks.

  15. So Chasing Pavements basically is about a girl wondering whether she should look for love or give it up and continue looking for men for scat related sexual practices? On that alone, I’d have to say Adele for making me laugh before 9am on a Thursday morning.

  16. You’re right, Andrew. It’s amazing how many people can get angry at others just expressing a preference; there’s actually no right or wrong answer. Admittedly, I didn’t help matters by introducing a third party into the mix.Oh, and to Robram and Ian, saying Estelle is cheating. I included Laura Marling because whenever I read anything about her, she’s always compared to Adele and Duffy (she doesn’t sound like them, but she’s young, female and you hadn’t heard of her before Christmas which is where the similarities end). Estelle is on her second album and has success before. If we’re playing that game, then my answer is Cat Power 😛

  17. Accusation retracted, Oldnathan. But when there’s this much vitriol sloshing around, I get paranoid! (I have to try and keep this thing moderated.)Swineshead, I’m not saying it’s old-fashioned sexism on your part. There does seem to be a lot of flack for the artists Mitchell mentions though. I liked Lily Allen’s album, although I have no interest in her chat show, or how she got famous. You know I like Kate Nash, and remain fond. I don’t get Duffy, but I like Adele’s voice and the production on her album. I also like Elbow’s new album. I doubt I’d get much flack for the latter opinion.I’m sorry if you feel personally let down that I like some uncool music in my dotage. None of the above is as essential as Marbles by Tindersticks, although Elbow come closest, especially the tracks Friend Of Ours and The Loneliness Of A Tower Crane Driver. Anyway, Tindersticks were never number one in the charts, and they remain a cult band, so if their next song was exactly the same as Adele’s Hometown Glory, it would have a cachet that she can never have.My soul music remains the Wu Tang Clan, whose canon I return to again and again when guitar music lets me down.And I love Watch With Mothers.

  18. I’ve changed my mind I don’t like partisanship in music because people nowadays are horrid. It was alright when people used say stuff like “Simon le Bum” and “Tony had a pee”, but some of the vitriol round here is just over the top. The media hype around Adele and Duffy is hardly their fault, as for being spoon fed isn’t the modern cry that there are too many bands you can’t be spoon fed from 800 spoons.The answers Adele by the way.

  19. I feel terrible now. I was drunk when I posted my last two comments, I have to admit.I like a lot of rubbish too (just don’t admit to it) and I also post comments under an anonymous handle, so that makes you three times braver than me on the honesty scale.At a push – Adele.Now where’s that Apprentice review…

  20. One of the reasons for the ‘over the top’ approach adopted by some of us may be the nature of the blog itself. There’s nothing better than a short, pithy message. Trouble is, it does make you overstate things (something I know I’ve been guilty of).But I stand by my comments on the two lasses (is lasses okay?). They represent everything that’s wrong with the UK music scene at the moment and I suppose I’m picking on them because their record sales mean I can’t escape them at the moment. If I’m being honest both of them can belt out a tune but where is the ambition? It’s all pastiche. It’s all just a re-hash of everything that’s gone before. There’s nothing remotely new. Music for your average daytime Radio 2 listener (and yes, before you ask, that is a bad thing): people my age who like to pretend that they are still into new music because they’ve ‘discovered’ a new artist. But the product is the same stuff they’ve been listening to for the last 30 years.If we are going to look at British female artists in isolation – and actually I think that is acceptable because there is a lineage – then compare their output to what Kate Bush was producing 20 years ago. The Hounds of Love, The Sensual World, in fact everything she’s done, was a genuine attempt at something different. At times it was brilliant at other times brilliantly flawed. Even 2006’s Aerial, bonkers though it was in parts, was still the sound of someone striving to produce something new. Duffy, Adele, Whinehouse (how many more do you want? Stone, Melua, the list is endless) is the sound of a music scene gone backwards. But they are being presented to us as the real deal. We are supposed to accept that this is serious music. This is what the British music scene is about right now. They’re ‘credible’ and ‘relevant’ whereas something like ‘Girls Aloud’ and ‘The Sugarbabes’ (or even that Lewis girl who won X-factor) are supposed to be lightweight and trivial. Going back to a similar discussion we had a few weeks back, give me good honest ‘pop’ music rather than Whinehouse’s completely fraudulent attempt at tortured artist crap. And I’m not limiting my criticism to female singer songwriters (although the success of the genuinely talented KT Tunstall seems to have lead to an explosion). You can trace the roots of all the current crop of blokes with guitars back to The Libertines (and their failure to fill the gap that they created for themselves) and those with keyboards back to (the not great but unfairly maligned ) Coldplay and their world domination. Yes The Kooks for Christ sake? Utter crap. Sub-Libertines guitar sound and a bloke singing despite suffering from permanent Whooping Cough. Last year’s great white hopes, mummy’s boy bed-wetters The Editors are even worse. I had some time for them up until I saw their totally fatuous ‘we really mean this’ posturing about on stage at Glastonbury. This was compounded by their affected incredulity when Mark Radcliffe suggested to them, in an interview on his evening show, that there may be a slight Joy Division influence to their music!!! Lying Bastards. How’s that for vitriol? Don’t get me wrong I know there’s very little that is truly new in music these days. Particularly if you’ve been knocking around for a while. But for Gods sake put some effort in.Sorry I appear to have waffled myself into a corner.See. There’s nothing better than a short and pithy post.

  21. I hate the Kooks too.Did the Editors really pretend not to have noticed that they rip off Joy Division in every possible way? That’s so funny I want to kill myself! Mixed emotions.

  22. I’m afraid ‘soul’ these days seems mainly identified by syllabic mangling of the English language, though neither of these is anywhere as bad as Joss Stone was.Duffy, at a push (& a firm one at that). I just don’t get that Chasing Pavements song.Glad you hate the Kooks.

  23. Think it’s a bit harsh to the compare current crop of young British females in music to Kate Bush, about as fair as saying “Not as good as The Beatles” to everything. As for female artists at the moment the likes of Adele and Duffy are appearing high in the charts and doing well on the BBC’s Sound of 2008 but they are as much as a snapshot of what’s going on in the same way that the pop music of the mid 1980’s doesn’t prevent a scene like C86 happening. I could go on and on about the fracture of the singles market and the way that £50 man has muscled into the album chart and so on but I won’t. Simply I will bring out the chestnut of their being plenty of other things around, in this month’s Q (not exactly a publication on the cutting edge nowadays) has a feature on the women in New Young Pony Club, Lykke Li, Ida Maria, Emmy The Great, Florence and The Machine. Not exactly chart bothering monsters but certainly all talented. I’d be happy to throw the ladies behind /in the likes of Bat For Lashes, CSS, Joanna Newsom, Laura Veirs, The Long Blondes, Santogold, MIA, Sissy Witch, Blood Red Shoes, The Duke Spirit, The Kills, Sons and Daughters, Those Dancing Days, Slow Club, Damn Shames, Liz Green as well as the several times mentioned Laura Marling, whose début is ever bit as good as The Kick Inside.All these artists are making better music that the likes of The Kooks, Hoosiers, Kasier Chiefs and other sub-sub Libertines piffle.

  24. I’m pretty much with Oldnathan on this one, which is handy as it saves me a lot of typing!Give me Kate Bush and Tori Amos anyday over the new batch.. As for the way I took the original question to be, it would definitely be Duffy. Shame on you men for not resorting to your base stereo-types! It can’t always be about the music you know!Glad I could be of some use [beats chest and shouts ‘captain caaaavemaaaan’]

  25. and Joe the comparion of Laura M to these too does also fall down on the number of records she’s sold. (This smart-@rse had heard of all three last year, check my singles list on here! Andrew heard her last year even if he didn’t realise, it’s her on backing vocals on The Rakes’ “Suspicious Eyes”)Being selfish I wouldn’t really want that kind of level of instant success thrust on any artist I’m truly passionate about, I saw Laura at a gig near me last year and I’ve been a fan ever since. If only more artists did the same as her and her song box tour (the limited edition of the album came with a ticket for a gig) and were good enough to talk to fans afterwards.Finally in full waffle mode myself, the middle section of the Elbow album from “Grounds For Divorce” to “The Fix” is about as good as it gets for modern ‘guitar’ music.

  26. Hear hear for hating The Kooks. How Lily Allen, Kate Nash et al get abuse because they’re Brit School graduates but The Kooks escape it baffles me. It must be because they play guitars and therefore must be “real music” whatever that means

  27. er, Duffy. Although it is a flashback to the 60’s she does not make the slightest mention of the need to track down street furniture.Also I have, heard, like, you know, innit, Adele talk and it was, like horrible. Like.AnonoNick

  28. I wasn’t complaining that the current crop (replace the vowel if you like) aren’t as good as Kate Bush. You are right that would be unfair. She’s a one off. No it’s the TOTAL LACK OF AMBITION to do anything remotely new that irks me so much. And like you I can find what I want from a multitude of other sources and virtually all of it from t’other side of the Atlantic*. But you just cannot escape this crap right now, so those of us who want something a little more ambitious can’t be blamed for complaining on AC’s blog surely. And yes Swiney (is it okay to call you Swiney?) that’s exactly what happened with The Editors. They actual said – get this – they had been more influenced by Echo & The Bunnymen! *Does anyone listen to Radio KEXP on-line? I wholeheartedly recommend it. Based in Seattle it’s a fantastic station. You’ll get to hear the best of America’s emerging talent as well as our own. And no adverts either. Or just subscribe to its Song of the Day podcast for your MP3 player. Just Google KEXP.

  29. Mitchell Stirling – I agree, you list some great acts. Santogold is really great. Her new video is amazing… cheap and effective.clickyticky…Cock n bull kid is a brilliant artist too…worth a look.clirk herer

  30. Duffy for me. I liked Mercy. I didn’t think it was excellent, I just liked it. I liked the beat of it and if it had come out in the 60s I don’t think people would have been slamming it as much.Adele, on the other hand, I don’t like. I don’t understand why her music was on 6Music, it’s more R1 or R2.

  31. And there we go again, Misery guts, Candie Payne is someone who is trying to recreate the sound of the past too.I share the stance of Oldnathan, too.Where does Laura Marling fit in? I think I’ll take her side.

  32. Trying not to rake over old ground… you can just imagine Lily Allen amongst the stars on the cover of a Smash Hits sticker album circa 1984, can’t you? A proper pop star, in other words, though her music career is probably over. And Adele and Duffy are having big hits too. Their careers might be over before their next albums, but that’s true of most people these days. I don’t really like anything I’ve heard by either of them but I’d rather they were at number one than most of the stuff that’s been there for the last ten years. If pressed I’d go for Duffy because Adele’s chosen musical idiom is really not my thing. I’d go for Yelle over either of them, though I might need to seek out my “Vitriol here” T-shirt for saying that. And if it’s people doing something lovely with the sixties that you’re after then Mareva Galanter’s album from a year or two back is great.Oh yeah, surely you’re more likely to tread in cat shit, because they hide it better?

  33. Oh no. Have I been censored? What did I say? All I said was that I liked Laura Marling and that Huffy and Puffy were a bit boring and wouldn’t last. I’m glad Martine Topley-Bird is coming back for a star return.

  34. Aaah – Martina Topley-Bird! Now she is amazing! I’m sorry I don’t know about some of the other artistes listed above so I can’t comment, but Topley is so good it’s scary. Bought her album following my love of Tricky and her vocals appear on a lot of his tracks (now Tricky – there’s originality!) and I must say I was very very happy with her album.Amazing.Buy it.I liked Mercy by Duffy too, just to agree with Clare H, it was a very nice song. How descriptive am I? Very. Nice.

  35. Wow, this certainly has generated a lot of debate. I’d like to add my vote to the “neither” camp. I’ve seen both perform on TV and it’s just dull dull dull. Adele was on Jools Holland on Friday, which I noticed somebody else on here saw too. In my opinion she was blown out of the water by Estelle live. The problem with Adele, Duffy and the Brit-school crowd is that if you close your eyes you can’t tell the difference between a live performance and the album. Estelle on the other hand had a tight as f*ck backing band that were actually interesting to listen to. She understood that people want a little bit extra from a live performance, and by that I don’t mean turning up wasted on stage, making a political speech, swearing etc etc. I mean an interesting performance by the whole band. There was a part in the song that Estelle closed the show with that had the whole band doing “stabs” at really random point – not just off the beat – but in totally wierd places, and EVERY time they were bang on together. I was stunned. Having said that, I don’t think Adele was the worst on Jools though. Did anyone see The Only Ones. Jesus christ they were appalling! Oh, and Estelle wasn’t the best either. There was a jazz trio called the Neil Cowley Trio who were pretty awesome. I got their album the next day. Highly recommended!

  36. Completely agree about Estelle. In one sense it wasn’t a million miles from some of Whinehouse’s stuff. Nothing is completely new let’s face it, and everyone takes from what’s gone before to some extent. But the important thing is not what you’ve nicked, it’s what you’ve added. Estelle adds loads and loads and does it exceptionally well from what I saw on Later. It was genuinely contemporary music. Whinehouse, Adele, Duffy add nothing.I reckon I’ve said enough about this don’t you?I saw The Only Ones perform at Redcar Coatham Bowl 30 years ago. I met them backstage after and Peter Perrett was blone and rather adonis like. A bit David Sylvian-ish. I know he’s had his demons since but Bloody Hell! Still enjoyed Another Girl, Another Planet though. One of the most rousing starts to a song ever; even better than 20th Century Boy.

  37. I just posted about Adele on my blog. I genuinely like her stuff; I think she’s got a great voice, not the same sort of ‘great’ as an Aretha, but still, if it moves me it moves me. I think it’s funny that she’s seen as plastic, and Amy Winehouse is cool, thanks to that most rock n roll of things a drug habit. Duffy is less my cup of tea; I’d have liked Bernard Butler to do the whole album. That might have been more interesting. But she’s got a good voice too. The thing I like most about the current crop of solo women is the potential. Some people reckon they’ll be gone in a couple of years. Well maybe. But just maybe they’ll be responsible for some really good songs in future.Better than skinny indie boys trying to sound like Echo And The Bunnymen.

Do leave a reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.