Sunday, March 25, 2007

Ron Sexsmith

"Retriever" 2004

While Ron Sexsmith has had little problem establishing his identity as a songwriter with the warm, compassionate intelligence of his lyrics, as a recording artist he's been a bit harder to pin down. After escaping the tape-loop jungle of Mitchell Froom's production on his first three major-label albums, Sexsmith has seen his music matched with the roots-oriented pop approach of Blue Boy and the subtle electronic textures of Cobblestone Runway, each successful but in decidedly different ways. At first listen, Sexsmith's sixth album, Retriever, sounds like an attempt to move back to the style of Other Songs or Whereabouts, but without the production excesses of those sessions; many of the melodies boast '60s-influenced pop hooks, and Martin Terefe's production subtly reinforces the Beatlesque qualities of the music, with occasional side trips into the land of '70s singer/songwriters ("Whatever It Takes" could almost pass for a lost Bill Withers track). But the results have a more open and organic feel than Froom's thematically similar work, employing real strings and less cluttered arrangements, and Sexsmith sounds quite comfortable in these surroundings. While Sexsmith sounded decidedly awkward and self-conscious as a singer on his early albums, he's grown into a vocalist who delivers his material with a genuine and compelling commitment on his recent albums, and Retriever sounds like his most confident and accomplished set to date. And as a writer, Sexsmith is still gloriously one of a kind, a man who can write about love without sounding either cloying or bitter, and can document both the bright and dark sides of life with honesty, heart, and clear perception. Most songwriters could go their whole careers without penning a song as strong as "How On Earth," "Imaginary Friends," or "For the Driver," and those are just three of the high points on Retriever; if you know Sexsmith's work, then you already have a good idea of how good this album is, and if you don't, this is a fine place to get acquainted. [The album was issued in Japan with the song "All Too Much" included as a bonus track.] ~ Mark Deming, All Music Guide

01. Hard Bargain
02. Imaginary Friend
03. Not About To Lose
04. Tommorow In Her Eyes
05. From Now On
06. For The Driver
07. Wishing Wells
08. Whatever It Takes 
09. Dandelion Wines
10. Happiness
11. How On Earth
12. I Know It Wells
13. All To Much (Japanese bonus track)

6 Comments:

Anonymous Sins We Can't Absolve said...

Thanks for this album

By the way, did you receive my mail, as you haven't yet replied

26 March, 2007 00:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More! More Ron, please!!

Thank-you, thank-, thank-you . . .

IM

27 March, 2007 05:27  
Anonymous Simon in Korea said...

Dear Lizardson & Friends,

Greetings from across the sea. Hope all is well following the earthquake. The earthquake has jolted me in the action to get around to thanking you for all the great music you have been providing. I always thought that I was pretty much on top of all that had been produced in the late 60's and early 70's UK folk scene but you have come up with some rare and not so rare gems I totally missed becoming aware of. Thanks and again hope all is well.

p.s. [there's always a catch!!] have any of you come across the re-released o1977 album by Cathy Chamberlain called Rag 'N' Roll Review? I heard it has been released in Japan but have not been able to find it in Korea.

27 March, 2007 08:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thx

30 August, 2009 03:19  
Anonymous Micha from Germany said...

Hi,

this blog is great and beautiful.
thank you.

My question: where can i download this album = ron sexsmith "retriever" ???
is my great wish ever ... i have birthday soon ;o)

love an peace,
michael.

26 October, 2009 05:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mighty

02 November, 2009 20:35  

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