Review: Victoria Duffield - Shut Up and Dance

'Canada's Next Star' contestant makes inauspicious debut...
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victoria duffieldBritish Columbia native Victoria Duffield hit the charts hard with her debut single, “Shut Up and Dance.” The track achieved platinum status and the video topped the MuchMusic countdown.

The full length album of the same name is set for an August 21 release.

This 17-year-old should nail down her target audience well, but anyone not interested or entertained by weak pop music best give this a wide berth. There’s absolutely nothing noteworthy about Duffield. Her voice is augmented by studio effects at every turn, transforming what could be a natural tone into an indecipherable, nasally whine.

Duffield’s claim to fame thus far comes from the third season of Canada’s The Next Star. The reality show saw her make it to the final six and gave her some experience in songwriting and making a music video.

Shut Up and Dance will probably introduce Duffield to a larger audience, thanks in part to a duet with Aussie pop sensation Cody Simpson.

“They Don’t Know About Us” is as mushy as music gets, “highlighted” as it is with Duffield’s attempts at venturing through her upper registry. The song describes trouble with the paparazzi, which I hear is a big problem in Abbotsford, and over-dramatizes the teen relationship. Talk of “haters” and so forth rings out as Simpson and Duffield flaccidly brush off the misconceptions of their “relationship.”

In fairness, this type of material is probably right up the proverbial alley of the sorts of kids who’ll be fans of Duffield. Tracks like “Save Me” and “Baby Come Home” throb with the doe-eyed, precarious affection that comes with meandering adolescence, while “Break My Heart” is high school dance fodder.

The title track opens with an unpleasant overdose of vocal effects and flat production, kicking in a dreary beat to back the half-hearted melody. The song isn’t meant for anyone over the age of 17 or anyone with an appreciation for good music.

Duffield’s Shut Up and Dance is yet another drop in the mind-numbing bucket of modern pop music. The genre once owned by Michael Jackson and Madonna has deteriorated into a miserable lather of prosaic, neutral entertainment punctuated by Machiavellian tween idols and downright criminal record executives. Luckily for those of us with moderate-to-good taste, there are other fish in the sea.