Co-written and produced with veteran songsmith Albert Hammond, Endlessly does exactly what is required by ratcheting up Duffy's sophistication without sacrificing the immediacy of "Mercy".
The latter is successfully covered by "Well Well Well", with The Roots furnishing infectious groove behind the title hook, and opener "My Boy", where club ambience gives way to gently strutting bass and staccato organ. But it's the classic 1960s songcraft of ballads like "Breath Away" and "Endlessly" itself which best showcases the developing depth of Duffy's delivery: her voice almost dissolves on the latter's title hook,exhibiting much greater subtlety. Other standouts include "Hard For The Heart", with its engaging minor-key melody and oriental-flavoured strings, and the grand symphonic-soul sweep of "Keeping My Baby".
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