I was thinking unpretentious or unassuming, but they don’t quite capture the sentiment that I want to convey regarding this type of performance. Low-key works sort of in a slang way, but I know there is a more satisfactory word out there but I can’t remember it for the life of me.

Link of performance: https://youtu.be/bsYp9q3QNaQ

I’m referring to the way he performs and how he presents himself (the suit, lack of movement, etc.) while still delivering an amazing performance.

Thank you.

  • 1
    Please provide a sample sentence showing how the word is to be used (per the SWR tag). Apr 12, 2020 at 14:31
  • 1
    Like some stand-up comics (Bill Murray, Jack Dee,...), Bowie often adopts a deadpan / impassive presentational style. Apr 12, 2020 at 14:43
  • 1
    I see an off-hand or impromptu performance. Apr 12, 2020 at 15:09

3 Answers 3



presented or expressed in a subtle and effective way

‘understated elegance’

Source: Lexico


Compared to his famously glam rock performances, this is a stripped down performance.

Drop Everything And Watch Taylor Swift's Stripped-Down Performance Of "Wildest Dreams"


It tends to refer to both the subdued musical arrangements and the performance together.


He gave an effortless performance.

effortless: ...

1.1: achieved with admirable ease.

Shorn of its string arrangement, Drake's incredible guitar playing and effortless melodic sense are all the more apparent.

SYNONYMS flowing, fluid, fluent, smooth, graceful, elegant, natural, leisurely, easy


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