So 'Oh Pioneer' is either the third official 'Duke Special' album or could quite possibly be his 10th/12th album. Duke Special is one of them ever evolving artists who has expanded his array of talents into other forms of the Arts while releasing rarities albums, music for plays and live recordings. 'Oh Pioneer' released on June 15th is a varied album consisting of sublime songs of real quality to the odd ridiculous theatrical tune which is instantly skippable.
I adore two tracks on this album. 'Condition' is a song only Duke Special could write. It mainly consists of personal statements which contradict themselves. For example my favourite line is 'I Am A Whisper, I Am the Choir' and so on. It's a hughly powerful song which can conjure up emotions galore. Check out a live version of the track here:
The other song to impress me is the wonderful 'Always Been There'. It's a charming atmospheric song full of positive lyrics which grabs your attention and squeezes the wow out of you.
'Oh Pioneer' is very much a grower. For instance the opening track 'Stargazers of the World Unite' and the song 'Lost Chord' grew on me as I got more into the lyrics. I didn't appreciate the lead single 'Punch of a Friend' on the first few listens but it's a really good representation of the album even if it's a bit too pure for popular radio playlists. The big problem with the single is that it only begins to get catchy towards the end of the track.
I don't think the condition of the 'inlet card' should come into a review but I do like the way Duke Special explains the origins of each track in the liner notes.
It's a terrible shame that there are three or four tracks which don't work for me. However the fact this album contains 'Condition' and 'Always Been There' means that it's an album I'd have to recommend you to check out.
Duke Special - 'Oh Pioneer' '10 out of 12'
See Duke Special Live:
- Jun 10 Wychwood Festival, Cheltenham Racecourse
- Jun 24 Westport Festival, Westport
- Jun 28 International Student Drama Conference, Sheffield
- Jun 30 Wexford Heritage Festival, Wexford
- Jul 20 Spiegeltent, Milton Keynes
- Jul 21 Wickerman Festival, East Kirkcarswell
- Jul 27 Camp Bestival, Lulworth Castle, Dorset
- Aug 16 Belsonic Festival, Custom House Square, Belfast
- Aug 17 Sunflower Festival, Tubby's Farm, Hillsborough
- Aug 18 Kavanagh’s, Portlaoise
Here's some video footage from the recording of 'Oh Pioneer'