The Duke Spirit – Neptune

The Duke Spirit – Neptune / 2008 Shangri-La / 12 Tracks / /

There is no reason why the opening track, “I Do Believe”, should be on this disc at all. The track does not give individuals any sense of who The Duke Spirit are or what they are intending to do on their “Neptune”. In fact, the repetitions of the phrase are something that will actually draw individuals away from wanting to listen to this album. In fact, the nearest thing that I can compare “I Do Believe” to is a rap skit; both drive individuals away in droves, because they are so damn atrocious. Luckily for listeners “Send A Little Love Token” is a track that will bring individuals back, and keep them focused on the rest of “Neptune”. The brand of rock that The Duke Spirit play simultaneously presses on the work of Heart and Fleetwood Mac while giving current music fans something to gnaw on.

Thus, The Duke Spirit play a retro-rock style that will get a lot of the hip-kids focused in and intently listening. The second “real” track on the disc is “The Step and The Walk”, and it continues with the same general style of rock that was given listeners during “Send A Little Love Token”. During this track, a little distortion is added to the vocals, giving the track a sixties sheen that will please fans of acts like Jefferson Airplane. The allure of the lead vocalist, coupled with the “Whooing” oof the ancillary vocals, nets The Duke Spirit their second hit on “Neptune”. Other tracks, such as “Wooden Heart”, do well in extending and expanding The Duke Spirit’s sound.

The slower style of “Wooden Heart” shows that they can hang with the Feists of society. The Spartan approach to instrumentation during this track highlights the human quality of the vocals, making this into an extremely emotional song. The act gradually inserts more elements to the track (another set of vocals and an increasingly-intense set of guitars), drawing the dramatic tension into something palatable. While the band threatened to drive individuals away with “I Do Believe”, the rest of “Neptune” is strong. The tracks do not immediately sound as if they would be ready for pop radio, but the band is capable enough to insert enough in the way of harmony and catchy arrangements into the mix. For a disc that started out so negatively, “Neptune” ends in an incredibly strong way. Pick it up.

Top Tracks: Into The Fold, Lassoo

Rating: 7.0/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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