Picks and Pans Review: Other Songs
Ron Sexsmith's voice hovers so gently around a melody that it's hard to believe his tough-minded lyrics could emanate from the same person. Romanticism without sentimentality is difficult for any composer. But Sexsmith, whose self-titled 1995 debut drew comparisons with such heavyweights as Ray Davies and Elvis Costello, sure has a knack for it—and with this fine follow-up he's fast proving himself worthy of the raves.
As hard on himself ("It Never Fails," "Average Joe") as he is on a universe that never quite adds up ("Strawberry Blonde," "Pretty Little Cemetery"), Sexsmith presents a wise and witty worldview that makes him a somewhat wanly smiling optimist. "Some rain is bound to fall," he notes on the instant-standard final track "April After All." Tony Bennett, call your office. (Interscope)
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