Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
Still remembered primarily for the catchy, but ultimately forgettable single "Barely Breathing" off his self-titled debut record, Duncan Sheik's Phantom Moon continues down the same, increasingly melancholic road he began ... more »
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Still remembered primarily for the catchy, but ultimately forgettable single "Barely Breathing" off his self-titled debut record, Duncan Sheik's Phantom Moon continues down the same, increasingly melancholic road he began to chart in earnest on his 1998 sophomore effort, Humming. Here, Sheik slows everything down and wrings bittersweet romance from these songs, which feature lyrics written by New York playwright Steven Sater. Embellished with pianos, strings, and occasional, understated drum work, the music Sheik puts around Sater's poetic stories is moody but not acutely passionate. While his expression is heartfelt, it always feels like he's just passing through these sentiments. Songs like "Mouth on Fire," while lovely and sonically intriguing, never attain those touches of intense individuality that mark the best troubadours. Nevertheless, Moon is a solid effort, and it shows off Sheik's growing musical prowess and confidence. Perhaps he simply needs life to throw him a few more low balls before his work finds the sad, brilliant heart it, for now, only alludes to. --Matthew Cooke
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A rare beauty in today's music scene
Jeffrey I Wopperer | Woodside, NY United States | 02/27/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album is certainly a departure for Duncan Sheik, although it was not hard to see it coming based on his previous work, as well as his open admiration for Nick Drake. However, while there are elements of indisputable similarity to Drake, it feels as though Duncan Sheik has truly emerged with this album. The pop image that has been with him since 'Barely Breathing' never seemed to fit, and songs like 'Nothing Special' from Humming confirm that the artist shares that sentiment. Sheik's music, while radio-friendly, always hinted to a more artful temperament- with his unusual harmonic progressions and orchestrations. Sheik and his friends at Atlantic must have realized this would not have the same sales heat as his previous work, which would explain their decision to release 'Phantom Moon' on Nonesuch records, a smaller, more avant-garde division of Warner. Missing on this album is producer Rupert Hine, replaced by Sheik alone, whose inexperience as a producer is only noticeable in a few moments. Also missing on this album is Sheik the lyricist, replaced by playwright Steven Sater. This is perhaps the most compelling aspect of the album. It is extremely rare to find lyrics of such mysterious and poetic beauty as this. Sater's writing is a welcome change of pace from the mundane drivel that has become the industry norm, and an improvement on Sheik's own inspired but inconsistent lyrics. Like many of his fans, I will miss the more raucous, beat-driven moments, but after 2 listens I found myself completely hooked on many of the new songs, and each repeat listen illuminates another glorious layer. 'Phantom Moon' is an admirable endeavor from an artist who could just as easily continued to pump out the "hits", and is a must-have for anyone that can appreciate thoughtful and well-crafted songwriting."
The music patters down like an late-night rainstorm.
Galen R. Meyer | Pennington, NJ USA | 02/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here we are, another late night. Everyone's gone to bed, the cats are curled up in the chair and the day is about done. ``Phantom Moon'' is playing. Again. As it has since we first bought it how many months ago.What keeps bringing me back? The music is hummable, yet sublimely complex. The lyrics are smart, and haunt as the night fades. Melancholic? Sure. Sad? Life hurts, sometimes, and it's that pain that clenches the heart. Hopeful? Absolutely. The sun always rises.It feels like the inside of a prayer."
Almost up to the level of his first album
Elijah Weisberg | New Orleans, LA United States | 02/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Phantom Moon is a remarkably beautiful album, shadowed only by his first album. As is the case with many great artists' first solo albums (see Phil Collins- Face Value for reference), Duncan Sheik's self titled album reflects a great deal of self experience- and as such is better than future work (in general). Phantom Moon is definitely better than Humming- there is a greater sense of unity in the songs- a linear flow from idea to idea. The lyrics are dramatically more complex and poetic (but they aren't Duncan Sheik's own) yet the music is more simple, in general.Those who would say this album is too somber or representative of a slip into more depressing songs may not be reading what Duncan says about the album. It is a departure from what he normally does, it is more of a tribute to his influences and his friend's poetic and lyric talent. Listen to the music and the voice, that is Duncan's talent speaking.The quality of sound that this album evokes is far beyond Humming due to it's control of orchestral parts. The range of sound is more limited than his previous albums- but then again, this lends itself to the theme of the music.In short, get this album if you like the samples. Listen to it again and again because it keeps getting better. Memorize the words to Longing Town and try to sing it- you will realize that these third party lyrics and Duncan's music are perfect together, and that his talent is here to stay."