Recording information: Sneaky Studios, Garrison, NY and Parliament Hill, Londo.
Director: Rupert Goold.
Editor: Michael Tudor.
Photographers: Manuel Harlan; Miles Aldridge.
On stage, the musical adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho alternates Duncan Sheik's original songs with period hits from Tears for Fears, New Order, and, of course, Phil Collins and Huey Lewis & the News. On record, American Psycho is shorn of most of these big '80s hits -- "True Faith" and "In the Air Tonight" survive, "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" shows up as a bonus track -- so concentration is drawn to Sheik's dry, witty electro-pop tunes. Often, the spare, synthesized songs are reminiscent of Ben Gibbard's Postal Service project -- this is especially true of the numbers that Sheik sings himself -- and it's possible to tune out the violent, cynical lyrics and groove on the chilly, glassy surfaces of the show tunes. Usually, zoning out isn't part of the plan here, though: the Patrick Bateman monologues and the sung dialogues with his victims are meant to unsettle, and they often succeed. And that's what's interesting about American Psycho: it taps into the malevolent undercurrents that flew underneath the sleek, steely synthesized surfaces of the Reagan era. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine