Duke Special - Songs From The Deep Forest

Published Wednesday 18th April 2007
Duke Special - Songs From The Deep Forest
Duke Special - Songs From The Deep Forest

RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 23973-12633
LABEL: V2 VVR1041442
RRP: £13.99

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

Over the last couple of years, it seems that singer/songwriter Duke Special has finally begun to get the recognition he deserves as he moves from cult status to a wider popularity. Like fellow Belfast artist Brian Houston, he's had best kept secret status for quite a while on the live gig circuit and occasional spins on radio and sporadic rave reviews in the music press. Now with 'Songs From The Deep Forest' there's the hope that this could be a breakthrough album. From the jaunty "Everybody Wants A Little Something" with its brass band to the airy uplifting single "Freewheel", this is a magnificent full blooded album stacked full of atmosphere and a compelling sense of melancholic depth. It's impossible not to be moved by these songs. "No Cover Up" longs for a place where honesty and vulnerability may be experienced whilst the remake of the Motownesque "Last Night I Nearly Died" heard in its original form on Duke's previous album really did deserve to be a massive hit single. Its new arrangement here is totally brilliant and it contains one of those singable, memorable choruses that your milkman (do you still have a milkman?) should be singing. From an instrumental point of view, although this is based around his piano, there are so many compelling arrangements that it keeps things interesting to the final song. "This Could Be My Last Day" is the climax to a fine album which proves that Duke Special is able to satisfy the listener both musically and emotionally.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Peter Short in Linlithgow @ 21:12 on Jul 19 2007

Accidentally saw them live courtesy of a friend and absolutely loved them. Special indeed.

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