Album Review :
A.Duff - One Life

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Label: Independent
Release Date: June 23, 2019

Tracklisting:

  1. Don’t Stop Believing
  2. Block Rocking Flammable
  3. Intelligent Control
  4. Ideological War
  5. Heartbeat
  6. Absolute Power
  7. A Moment of Contentment
  8. The First Day
  9. Church Mice
  10. God is Real
  11. Hutongs and Alleyways
  12. God is Real (Radio Edit)

A-Duff is no Calvin Harris; and coming from me, that’s quite a compliment. Well, at least my perception of Calvin Harris – I’ve never really given him a fair listen. In any case, there’s enough cheese-ball EDM in the world to go around. Some of A-Duff’s material could be on the radio (e.g. “God is Real”), but he clearly values creativity. Opening track “Don’t Stop Believing” kicks things off with an optimistic mood and some groovy brass, while “Block Rocking Flammable” reminds me of playing SSX 3 on PS2. With so many sounds going on in One-Life, sometimes this works to its advantage, and other times it doesn’t. “A Moment of Contentment,” a chill instrumental hip-hop tune, is A-Duff at his best. “The First Day” is also quite nice for its diverse instrumentation; however, the song suffers from an out-of-place spoken word offered by Crystal Zhao. A similar problem is found on “Ideological War.” Even with the cool vocal stutter effect, the singing lacks in terms of proper pitch and rhythm. And this would have to be my general complaint: the vocals on this album are more detrimental than enjoyable. That being said, One-Life shows potential and I look forward to hearing more from this Australian DJ.

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