Personnel: Duncan Sheik (vocals, acoustic, electric, nylon string & 12-string guitars, e-bow, accordion, piano, organ, keyboards, programming, samples); Simon Hale (conductor); Fran Banish (electric & slide guitars); Howard Jones (piano); Pino Palladino, Milo DeCruz (bass); Jean-Michel Biger (drums); Rupert Hine (percussion, background vocals); Ruadhri Cushnan, London Session Orchestra Quartet.
Engineers: Ruadhri Cushnan, Stephen W. Taylor, Minnie Matt.
Recorded at Precy-Sur-Oise, France and Metropolis Studios, London, England.
"Barely Breathing" was nominated for a 1998 Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
Personnel: Duncan Sheik (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12-string guitar, accordion, piano, organ, keyboards, drums, drum programming, sampler, background vocals); Fran Banish (guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar); Howard Jones (piano); Rupert Hine (keyboards, percussion, background vocals); Milo Decruz (bass guitar); Jean-Michel Biger, Jean-Michel Bigor (drums).
Audio Mixers: Gareth Ashton; Stephen Taylor.
Recording information: metropolis Studios, London, England; Prcy-Sur-Oise, France.
Directors: Minnie Matt; Gavyn Wright.
Photographer: Julian Broad.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Duncan Sheik; Fran Banish; Ruadhri Cushnan; London Session Orchestra; Gavyn Wright.
Yeah, we know, what does the world need with one more introspective white male singer/songwriter, no matter how many pop hooks he's got up his sleeve? Well, before you go writing off Duncan Sheik as Matthew Sweet 'N' Low, check out all the nooks and crannies on his debut album. In between the radio-ready triple-A surefires, you'll find fragile acoustic cuts that sound like Nick Drake playing the Beatles songbook; eccentric, Brian Wilson-derived pop ditties; and an individualistic streak that prevents Sheik's music from ever truly achieving the generic, everyman sound some of his songs strive for.
Throughout the album, guitar-driven pop-rock combines with lush, orchestral passages to create a moody, '60s-oriented sound that locates Sheik's influences squarely in the SGT. PEPPER era, with a side-order of early Big Star for good measure. If those aren't hip enough reference points for you, how many other singer-songwriter albums do you know that feature a guest appearance by Howard Jones?
Rolling Stone (10/17/96, p.136) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...groaning violas and nighttime suffering, acoustic guitars and tentative high spirits....melodies bloom into fluid choruses, with [Simon] Hale's orchestrations suggesting the pleasures of a sunny holiday in Rome..."