Album review: Duke Special - Oh Pioneer
Always under the popular radar despite producing a glut of grown-up, well-crafted songs, could this sprawling sonic adventure be the Duke’s ticket to stardom?
With his first ‘commercial’ album since 2008’s I Never Thought This Day Would Come, the relentlessly dedicated Duke has seemingly survived music labels’ indifference to tread his own path – even getting fans to fund previous releases.
Defiant spirit is all well and good, but without vision and talent it’s redundant. The dreadlocked Duke isn’t short on either, his lilting voice bolstered with bold songwriting and Duke’s characteristic idiosyncrasies.
Operatic drama punches through Snakes In The Grass while pop melodies are woven intricate, leftfield new nests in Condition and the piano-dusted Lost Chord.
There are embracing horns and organ, offset elsewhere by beautifully downcast lilts, calm and heartbreak, such as Always Been There.
Almost as if besieged with ideas, Duke shows a rare ability to marshal them all into a cohesive, adventurous and emotionally engaging whole that will grab you by the soul as well as the mind.
A worthy discovery.
- 1 Revealed: Your favourite fish and chip shop in north London
- 2 Man arrested, cyclist seriously injured after alleged hit and run
- 3 MP Claudia Webbe loses harassment conviction appeal - but sentence reduced
- 4 Jewish Heritage Trail project receives massive funding boost
- 5 New mayor to support Islington hospitals
- 6 Explained: What the cost of living support package means for you
- 7 Maskless passengers on London trains and buses fined 4,000 times
- 8 7 of the best Chinese restaurants with delivery in north London
- 9 Woman harassed by Claudia Webbe wanted MP 'to be humiliated'
- 10 Plaistow police officer to face GBH trial after man left paralysed