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Devil Doll
Queen of Pain

Never has a CD jacket served as such a perfect metaphor for the artist
contained within. On the cover, Colleen Duffy—a.k.a., Devil doll—is dolled up in retro velvet, sporting a '40s coif. Inside the jacket, however, Duffy is sprawled across an unkempt bed, donning a CBGB's wife beater and a cowboy hat. Musically, Devil Doll presents a glossy sheen that never conceals a punk rock heart. The results of this dichotomy are downright interesting listening, and present a record that I like more than expected.

Duffy, who is credited not only with the music, but also art direction and executive production, has a feisty voice and alluring delivery that are nicely supported by a variety of instrumentations and tones. The songs on Queen of Pain (Lucky Bluebird Records) bounce from edgy garage bop to bluesy swing, Portishead-esque smokey swagger, country-fried barroom laments. But, there is a surprising coherency that carries over from tune to tune.

If Duffy fails in one area, it¹s not knowing when to stop. While there are few clunkers to be found on this 18-song behemoth, her energy and magnetism would have stronger pull in smaller doses. It's always better to leave the listener wanting more. Unfortunately, by the time you reach the dramatic ending of "If I Died in Your Arms," you¹re too exhausted to appreciate its power. But, if a complaint has to be made, I suppose "too much of a good thing" isn't the worst critique to level. Next time, make it two albums instead of one.

—Gary A. Miller

Visit the band online at www.devil-doll.com



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