There is little doubt that Duffy has a set of lungs on her. The fourth single from her debut album, ‘Stepping Stone’ sees the Welsh warbler go toe-to-toe with the lung capacity of a free diver, belting out the chorus of Stepping Stone without so much as a gulp of oxygen. As she has a tendency to pronounce ‘stone’ with five syllables, it’s just as well really.
A tale of estranged lovers, Stepping Stone is traditional Duffy fare. Soporific lines with a rhyming scheme that would embarrass Dr. Seuss, a rousing string chorus, a gently tapping bongo beat. It’s supposed to be a song about Duffy asserting her independence.
Still, it’s not all bad; there’s a xylophone tinkling away somewhere in the background and it’s always nice to see them getting more work.
After the barn-burner that was her second single ‘Mercy’, Duffy seems to have been convinced by someone that releasing the ‘slower stuff’ was the way to go. That person was very wrong. It’s sad really because Duffy has such a unique voice. After listening to Stepping Stone, you just wish she’d give it better things to do.