Sound — 9
As Duncan Sheik's debut album, this self-titled work is a very good piece of art. Though most people would only think about the song Barely Breathing when they think of Duncan Sheik, these individuals are missing out on his true talents. For those who love the more classic, acoustic sound, this artist will not disappoint. The chords he uses and the sounds he produces are artful and pleasing to the ear. This album is not composed of songs that have heavily emphasized solos, instead, the mood and tone of his works are geared closer to a blend between his lyrics and strumming. Many of his songs such as Reasons for Living and She Runs Away follow this pattern of song. However, Duncan Sheik can also play very beautiful sounding solos as well, as in the song Serena, my personal favorite in the album. I would recommend this album for anyone who is a fan of lighter rock.
Lyrics — 9
The riffs in this album closely follow the lyrics Duncan Sheik provides. The general mood of the recordings is somber and seems filled with depressing episodes. Many of the songs are slow-paced and filled with lower-pitched notes on the chords. This playing blends the low notes with the somewhat depressing lyrics that Sheik employs. In this regard, he is very skilled at making the listener feel a certain way. The primary focus of many of the songs seems to be about lost loves and getting through life when times seem hard for no reason. These kinds of songs would really relate to someone having a hard episode in their lives, not to mention the excellent guitar playing he uses.
Overall Impression — 8
Of all the artists I have listened to, I have never found anyone with lyrics or a style resembling that of Duncan Sheik. For this reason, I find his work to be very unique. As this album was one of the first CDs I had ever listened to and really gotten me into music, the value of these recordings to me cannot be understated. However, as my taste in music continues to evolve, I find that some of the songs in this album have almost the same feel. For this reason, I find myself skipping several tracks in the album whenever they come up. Though I will almost always listen to the songs Serena or Barely Breathing, the other songs do not pull my ears the way they used to. That being said, I would definitely recommend this album for people who are fans of the more traditional styles of rock. However, if you find yourself getting into heavier, faster songs, than maybe this album is not the one for you.