Duncan Sheik: Covers 80’s

Duncan Sheik: Covers 80’s
Duncan Sheik was one of those guys that peaked early. His debut single, “Barely Breathing” cracked the top twenty of the Billboard200 in 1996. Since that time, Sheik has released numerous singles yet none have come close to the impact of “Barely Breathing.” Give the man credit, many people would hang it up after over a decade of futility but Sheik still releases albums. His latest album is the self-released Covers 80’s.
As the title suggests, Sheik’s latest effort is populated purely by covers of 80’s tracks. Sheik chooses an interesting swath of songs to cover. The album begins with a cover of Depeche Mode‘s “Stripped.” The original was a top twenty hit in several European countries but had no real chart performance in the US. Sheik takes the cheesy 80s original and converts it to an indie rock track complete with xylophone and harmonium. The cover sounds to me like something Aloha might do.
Not all of Sheik’s 80’s covers are of relatively unknown songs here in the states. Sheik tries his hand at the Thompson Twins‘ top five single, “Hold Me Now.” While the song was a huge hit in the 80s, Sheik does a pretty standard acoustic version of the track. While I understand that by giving the song this type of stripped down treatment really brings out the lyrics, it feels a little boring especially in comparison to “Stripped.”
Unfortunately most of the songs on Covers 80’s are along the lines of “Hold Me Now.” There are only so many mid-tempo acoustic ballads one can listen to in a row before they start to all sound the same; Sheik pushes this limit.
Rating: 3.7/10
MP3: Duncan Sheik “Hold Me Now”
Buy: iTunes