by Duncan SheikDuncan Sheik


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Some listeners will likely always think of Duncan Sheik as a one-hit wonder, the guy who reached the Top 10 in 1997 with the gently shimmering adult contemporary of "Barely Breathing." Legerdemain, released two decades after his debut album, may carry some of the sighing melodicism and soft, hazy surfaces that turned him into a AAA smash in the late '90s, but appropriately, it is a closer companion to the work he's done in the new millennium, playing like a hybrid between his Broadway work (since 2002, he's composed no less than seven) and his 2011 salute to the '80s. Certainly, at a stately 70 minutes, Legerdemain carries the gravity of a stage production, although it's hard to tell if the songs of heartbreak and longing amount to a song cycle. What's easier to discern is how Sheik masterfully splices chilly '80s new wave with soul-baring folk introspection. Often, his voice recalls a subdued Peter Gabriel -- Sheik never testifies or declares, he merely whispers -- a comparison that is sometimes strengthened when the music grows sharper and stronger, but usually, Legerdemain glides by on austere yet warm textures, sometimes hearkening back to the arch artiness of synth pop, sometimes suggesting an open-hearted Elliott Smith, sometimes recalling the best of Dido. Such shifting connected threads keep Legerdemain simmering during its long journey.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/09/2015
Label: Sneaky Records
UPC: 5060186928890
catalogNumber: 1
Rank: 65783

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