Album: Sam Duckworth, The Mannequin (Cooking Vinyl)

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The Independent Culture

Sam Duckworth here offers a slim portfolio of underwhelming observations, in which his attempts to infuse the humdrum everyday with poetry tend to founder on the clumsiness of his ambition.

The most successful are those which seek to evoke the simplest and most straight-forward of memories and emotions, such as the love song "Clementine" and "18 to 1", a fond reverie of a teenage biker rebel en route to Southend to impress the girls. But, elsewhere, he stumbles into thorny locutions and territory that's just too dull to be bothering with, such as the simplistic broadside against "The Farmer". Unfortunately, the arrangements of laborious guitar arpeggios don't provide enough undergrowth to hide Duckworth's solecisms. And if you're going to use a word like "recumbent", it's best not to spell it "recumberlant".

DOWNLOAD THIS: Clementine; 18 to 1