It's hard to believe that it's been ten years since Duncan Sheik
first appeared on the scene with his amazing hit song "Barely
Breathing". In the time between then and now, Sheik has given
the world three additional albums that contain some of the finest
down-tempo pop music that I can recall. With his new release, White
Limousine, Sheik continues to purvey his exquisite talents at
creating sublimely melancholy music that somehow manages to lift the
soul while calming and causing reflection.
The album starts off with the eerily haunting "Hey Casanova".
This track sets the standard by which the remainder of the album will
be judged, and it is an incredibly high mark. With it's tremelo'd
guitars and brilliant lyrics, Duncan Sheik has proven - right out
of the gate - exactly the greatness of which he is capable. The delicate
acoustic beauty of "The Dawn's Request" with its falsetto
vocals and heavy poetry finely offsets the sonic pop of the title
track. With a scrubby mid-fi rhythm and flawlessly chiming arpeggios
"Nothing Fades" creates the perfect shimmering apex of hope
in an otherwise moody and brooding album. "Turning the wheel
to emptiness/ there when you breathe/ your final breath/ no one to
hold you anymore/ but haven't they told you baby/ you're always alive".
The London Session Orchestra is in fine form on "Fantastic
Toys And Corduroys", fleshing out the song to its full breadth
of subtle splendor. "So Gone" channels the spirit of late
60's psychedelic folk in a rather turned down manner, borrowing turns
of phrase and tiny bits of melody from the greats. The six minute
wonder of "Hymn" makes the album come about full circle,
returning to a gloriously orchestrated pop song full of dynamics and
sheer, inimitable beauty.
White Limousine is indisputably the greatest orchestral pop
album of the last decade
possibly of all time. Duncan Sheik
continues to build his legacy as one of the finest songwriters of
the late 20th/21st century. He does it with integrity and a ton of
soul - good songs that are played perfectly and produced extraordinarily.
1. Hey Casanova
2. I Don't Believe In Ghosts
3. White Limousine
4. Nothing Fades
5. Fantastic Toys And Corduroys
7. I Wouldn't Mind
9. Star-Field On Red Lines
10. The Dawn's Request
11. So Gone
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