Sub-par vocals, tedious elements
Washington DC based Soul/Jazz artist Diggs Duke is back with his new 4-track EP “Mass Exodus Vol. 2.” The tones are smooth, mellow, pure jazz and the beats are hot. Duke is a talented musician that shows lots of promise but his sound could use some refinement this time around.
“Duty of Grace” is a good, upbeat song that starts out with great piano playing alongside a funky R&B beat. This is an instrumental song, with a few ooohs and aaahs thrown in to complement the great instrumentation. The jazzy horns are a nice touch to the overall mellow vibe of the song, and no vocals are needed for this Jazz/Funk masterpiece to be enjoyed. Another jazzy, mellow song with a Hip-Hop influenced beat is “Well Repel.” This track also has great instrumentation and a John Legend feel. But the comparisons to John Legend come to a dead halt when it comes to the vocals. Duke’s singing voice is sub-par and distracts away from the great music. It’s not terrible, but much is left to be desired. Although he stays on key, the tonal quality of his voice is not ideal. This song would have worked better as an instrumental, like the first track. And the song also becomes a bit boring towards the end. “Like I Won’t Grow Old” is a similar sounding song to the last song, with a slow mellow vibe and vocals along with the jazzy instrumentation. Again, the instruments are great, but unfortunately this is overshadowed by Duke’s irritating vocal tone. He has an odd way of timing between the lines of lyrics, with long awkward pauses in between. This is distracting and a little annoying, and seems out of place in the song. And the overall sluggish vibe of the track is a snooze– the listener is about to fall asleep by the end. With better lyrics and a less sleepy cadence, the song could be more successful in its execution. Some improvements are needed for Duke’s music to be more appealing.
Diggs Duke has the Jazz/Funk fusion down pat in his music. He knows how to successfully mix the two styles to produce enjoyable music. But unfortunately his singing voice is not up to par with his musical abilities. Improvements in this area would really help. His most enjoyable song was the strictly instrumental one, so perhaps Duke should stick with that approach. He is an artist with lots of promise and loads of talent to spare.
Connect: Site @DiggsDuke Facebook