Duncan Sheik's debut album will undoubtedly go down in history as the vehicle that transported the pop/rock hit "Barely Breathing." That's fine, but this record has so much more to offer. As a songwriter, Sheik crafts richly melodic and thoughtful songs that seep into your consciousness with the greatest of ease. And producer Rupert Hine brings them to life in exquisite fashion, complete with full orchestral strings that add a lush, ethereal quality matching Sheik's own vocal style. Although the songs seem to be very personal, intimate stories lifted from his life, you will find pieces of yourself in most of them. Rest assured, different songs will make their way onto various mix tapes, depending on the mood. For a mellow groove, go with "She Runs Away" and "Out of Order." Need a haunting yet earnest blend? Try "Reasons for Living," "Little Hands," and "November." You might think you accidentally recorded Jeff Buckley, but Sheik is a bit smoother around the edges. Then you have the ultra-romantic mix with "Days Go By" and "Home." If needed, follow that with "In the Absence of the Sun," "Barely Breathing," and "Serena" for the walk-away-and-don't-look-back power combo. Something for everybody and a great record all around.
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AllMusic Review by Kelly McCartney