The Duke Spirit â€“ Neptune / 2008 Shangri-La / 12 Tracks / http://www.dukespirit.com /
There is no reason why the opening track, â€œI Do Believeâ€, 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 â€œNeptuneâ€. 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 â€œI Do Believeâ€ to is a rap skit; both drive individuals away in droves, because they are so damn atrocious. Luckily for listeners â€œSend A Little Love Tokenâ€ is a track that will bring individuals back, and keep them focused on the rest of â€œNeptuneâ€. 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 â€œrealâ€ track on the disc is â€œThe Step and The Walkâ€, and it continues with the same general style of rock that was given listeners during â€œSend A Little Love Tokenâ€. 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 â€œWhooingâ€ oof the ancillary vocals, nets The Duke Spirit their second hit on â€œNeptuneâ€. Other tracks, such as â€œWooden Heartâ€, do well in extending and expanding The Duke Spiritâ€™s sound.
The slower style of â€œWooden Heartâ€ 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 â€œI Do Believeâ€, the rest of â€œNeptuneâ€ 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, â€œNeptuneâ€ ends in an incredibly strong way. Pick it up.
Top Tracks: Into The Fold, Lassoo