February 8, 2007

Ron Sexsmith

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On his 10th release, Time Being, Ron Sexsmith controls his characteristic vibrato, humming sweet and subtle songs that sizzle in reverb and well-crafted melody. Although a vocal heavy record — almost confessional — his most introspective moments are his least convincing. Instead, Sexsmith shines when he is lighter and more playful. You can hear the passion in Sexsmith’s voice but this record is never more than pretty — it does not challenge nor inspire. More should be expected from such a veteran. Luckily, the record remains alive with keen arrangements, such as on “The Grim Trucker” when an unexpected section evokes the blithe of a lost McCartney ditty. The album is delicate but a delight — Sexsmith does not need to be bold to be good. Stand out tracks can be played on repeat but none are infectious. For the time being, Sexsmith continues to charm; unfortunately however, he is unable to excite.