Duncan Sheik, and David Poe

Major labels haven't had a lot of success marketing singer-songwriters (unless they sound like Dave Matthews), and given that their target audience isn't advertisers' favored demographic (18 to 25), it might be questioned how much interest they can generate. Duncan Sheik produced the enormous hit "Barely Breathing" (which sounds a lot like Dave Matthews) back in 1996, and he's since released three albums of uneven, adult contemporary pop. While 2001's Phantom Moon (written in collaboration with poet/playwright Steven Sater) tended to be sparse, Sheik's arrangements usually gravitate toward the baroque, often plushly adorned with strings to accompany his strong baritone vocals. David Poe falls more on the rootsy side of adult pop, sort of Freedy Johnston crossed with John Mayer. Though it was released on Sony, 2002's underrated The Late Album disappeared without a trace, a tragedy because its dark, cabaret vibe was as seductive as Poe's easy tenor croon. While Sheik hasn't released an album since 2002's Daylight, Poe is supporting the new Love Is Red, which continues to hone his late-night pop.


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