I got the notion in my head sometime in 2003 that Duke
was the blandest album on the planet. I mean, I always thought it was a fairly entertaining record for passing the time, but it was instantly forgettable the moment it stopped playing. It was as if the 55-minutes it took to listen to the album had been sucked into a black hole.
Time has passed since 2003. Now, I've developed an appreciation for some things I used to consider boring. They include Beethoven symphonies, civil war museums, and soft cheeses. But for the life of me, I still find nothing memorable about Duke
. It doesn't contain any singularly great moments, nor does it contain any singularly horrible moments - it's the most above-averagely consistent album that ever existed.
I usually start my reviews with a couple of introductory paragraphs, and then go on to talk about the songs. But I can't think of a song on Duke
that I could talk about. For just a single millisecond, I wish at least something on Duke
would outright suck so I could have something to talk about. This album is like rock'n'roll purgatory, a view I hold so strongly that I said it with capital letters and exclamation marks in my track reviews.
Absolutely, the music is expertly played - everything is flawless. I'm as sure about that statement as I'm sure that the Earth isn't flat (I mean, there are friggin' hills all over the place). Tony Banks plays straight piano and straight synthesizer, with the emphasis on straight. He plays good textures too, but he never ventures into playing anything mesmerizing like he did throughout The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
, but there again he never plays anything dead boring like he did on Wind & Wuthering
either. There is a brief moment in “Heathaze” when I thought he's about to get into something memorable, another brief moment in “Cul-de-Sac” where he's about to get out of something boring. But alas, those moments only come in flashes. Even so, the keyboards are always 'good', there's just no getting away from that.
by Reviewer: Don Ignacio
(blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews