By Alisa Cohen
Updated May 16, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT
Max Dodson

She may lack Amy Winehouse’s saltiness and snarl, but the Welsh singer Duffy’s sweeter vocals still crackle with soul. ”Mercy” — a U.K. hit ready-made for U.S. radio — is a go-go number that’s as sassy as a Mary Quant miniskirt. And when Duffy slows the tempo for ”Rockferry” and ”Hanging On Too Long,” her voice stretches to spectacular heights. The minor-chord-heavy tracks on Rockferry — each a kiss-off to a defective relationship — begin sedately and swell to a startling climax. Once the Dusty Springfield-flecked closer, ”Distant Dreamer,” comes round, you’ll be wishin’ and hopin’ for more. A-
DOWNLOAD THIS: Hear a preview of ”Rockferry” at Duffy’s MySpace page