Personnel: Matt Duke (vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion); Carter McLean (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Jason Finkel.
Photographer: Anna White.
Arranger: Jason Finkel.
On his third album, One Day Die, Matt Duke continues to be a frustratingly uneven singer/songwriter. Much of the time, his music is over-arranged, with the hooks buried and the instruments getting in each other's way, and his singing, ranging from a throaty tone to a falsetto, is mannered, doing no favors to the often-obscure lyrics. But every once in a while, he will break out a catchy, direct song with good lyrics that he sings straight. Examples here include "Needle and Thread" and "The Hour." It's not that he should make entire albums of such tunes, but in varying his approach, he would be better off toning down the arty embellishments in favor of clarity. As it is, he remains a clearly talented artist who doesn't seem to be able to distinguish his strengths from his weaknesses. ~ William Ruhlmann