No matter how expensive the tools on your workbench, it doesn’t make you a mechanic. By the same token, the Watson Twins and Duncan Sheik may be talented musicians but they’re hardly artists. Both have displayed a load of promise without ever elevating their craft. They’re hardly hacks, but given their gifts, disappointment’s been their bounty. At this point, Sheik’s future’s “Barely Breathing.” A gifted pianist with a gentle baritone croon, he’s never progressed beyond his ’96 hit, sinking into the smooth distinction-less morass of adult contemporary pop and paved over by an endless procession of similarly colorless, disposable soft rock wannabes (see Gavin DeGraw, James Blunt). The Watson Twins have beautiful voices but it remains to be seen whether they’re able to progress beyond “potential American Idol contestants.” Sure, give them “Just Like Heaven” or line them up behind Jenny Lewis and they shine, but their own material’s proven exceptionally uninspiring.
Sun., June 12, 8pm. $25-$48. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. worldcafelive.com
PW's Music Issue 2014