Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, 'Searching for the Hows and Whys' (Atlantic)

Searching for the Hows and Whys
Critical Mass
Label: Atlantic

by Nadine Oregan

Sounding simultaneously overwrought and half-baked, the second album from Essex, England's Sam Duckworth is a depressingly patchy affair, almost entirely lacking in the underdog charms that made his 2006 debut so appealing. Multiculti electronica producer Nitin Sawhney tempers Duckworth's acoustic guitar and overearnest lyrics with glorious string and brass arrangements. But aside from a stirringly somber, memorable duet with Kate Nash, this is the uneasy sound of a once promising artist lingering in the dark, unsure of his next move.

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