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Alternative & Indie - Released April 17, 2020 | Cooking Vinyl Limited

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama

Rock - Released January 1, 1995 | Interscope

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Ron Sexsmith is so anti-cool that this may actually be one the coolest albums you hear. The Toronto singer/songwriter's appearance matches his music perfectly -- hair falling in tousled bangs over doe eyes and baby face; one of those guys who always got beat up in high school and couldn't string two words together in front of a real live girl without stammering. A wide-eyed innocent, Sexsmith's eponymous release marries the wonder of Jonathan Richman with the darker atmosphere of a Daniel Lanois. Superficially, the songs are so sparsely childlike that you're tempted to wonder if Sexsmith is either a master of affectation or some kind of idiot savant. © Roch Parisien /TiVo

Alternative & Indie - Released February 27, 2011 | Cooking Vinyl


Pop - Released January 1, 2001 | Cooking Vinyl


Alternative & Indie - Released February 3, 2013 | Cooking Vinyl


Rock - Released January 1, 1999 | Interscope

Ron Sexsmith's third album continues the singer/songwriter's talent -- and perhaps his need -- for revealing his delicate and contemplative reflections on life and himself. On Whereabouts, Sexsmith sounds vulnerable yet a bit more worldly than on his previous two albums, and his clear, plaintive vocals sound best on the most introspective tracks like "Riverbed," "The Idiot Boy," and "Doomed." The only minor flaw is the production -- somewhat cold and soulless, it detracts from Sexsmith's intimacy instead of complementing it. © Gina Boldman /TiVo

Alternative & Indie - Released March 13, 2020 | Cooking Vinyl Limited


Rock - Released January 1, 1997 | Interscope

The quandary of the whole solo singer/songwriter thing is that one listener's deeply personal and affecting music is another's boringly self-absorbed slop. And the fine line between them, between naked emotion and unadulterated pap, is the production, its intent, and above all, the talent trapped in it -- so highly exposed, after all. In this second LP by Sexsmith, it's clear he's a composer of ability, as his lyrics have a quietly moving air and his delicate picking and fingering of his acoustic silently charms. The drums bubble so lightly in the back you never notice them, and the pretty piano on tracks such as "Average Joe" is employed with grace. Best of all, Sexsmith's voice is a dead ringer for 1966-1967 Tim Hardin (circa his best work, Tim Hardin I and Tim Hardin II), only without Hardin's more breathy trills (and without the late legend's incredible, arrestingly sweet melancholia, woeful lamentation, and bleeding heart). Sexsmith's throat is smoky menthol, yet gentle and soothing, the kind that wraps around the melodies like a mother's most serene lullaby. Maybe there's a little 1971 Jackson Browne in Sexsmith, too, only without the reedy dweebness. On the negative side, ubiquitous producer Mitchell Froom elicits nice takes but envelops them in a slightly glossy sheen. He makes Sexsmith fall in line with so much ho-hum singer/songwriter pop, when the playing and singing suggested more direct emotional immediacy, like Hardin, or young Neil Young, or the late-'60s Paul Simon before he regrettably lost his Garfunkel. That Sexsmith has the stuff to overcome such sanitation for listeners' protection is a credit to a modest prize at work. And love that mellifluous voice. © Jack Rabid /TiVo

Alternative & Indie - Released January 17, 2020 | Cooking Vinyl Limited


Folk/Americana - Released November 9, 2010 | Nettwerk Records


Folk/Americana - Released October 13, 2010 | Nettwerk Records

A singer/songwriter whose strong suit is his warmth and humanity wouldn't seem like a likely prospect to be teamed up with a bunch of electronic keyboards, drum machines, and other bits of hi-tech hardware, but after leaving behind Mitchell Froom's tape-loop fantasias for Steve Earle's rootsy and straightforward production on Blue Boy, Ron Sexsmith takes another sonic left-turn on his fifth album, Cobblestone Runway (his sixth if you include his first self-released cassette, Grand Opera Lane). Cobblestone Runway finds Sexsmith embracing electronics with surprising enthusiasm, but he has the good sense not to drown himself in them; while "These Days" features a prominent drum loop and echoey white-noise keyboard patches, the chilly undertow is offset by some soulful backing vocals and the (slightly) rumpled sincerity of Sexsmith's voice and acoustic guitar, and the spacey synth lines on "Disappearing Act" find their complement in a gloriously low-tech electric guitar. Much like Mark Eitzel on The Invisible Man, Ron Sexsmith has found a way to breathe a very human sense of emotional openness into his spare electronic backings ("Heart's Desire" even winds up with a bit of noisy but high-groove jamming), and Cobblestone Runway serves his songs as well as any album he's ever made. Of course, it helps that (as usual) Sexsmith has written a dozen winners here, from the lament for the sad state of love on "These Days" to the realist's bid for optimism on "Gold In Them Hills," and the purposefully childlike "God Loves Everyone" is one of the truly effective musical pleas for human tolerance to emerge post-September 11. On his last few releases, Ron Sexsmith 'the recording artist' appears to be finally catching up with Ron Sexsmith 'the gifted songwriter,' and if Cobblestone Runway's surfaces may initially puzzle a few fans, the heart, soul, and hard-won wisdom of these performances confirm that he's finally mastered the recording studio, and it ranks with his best-realized work to date. (The disc also features a second version of "Gold In Them Hills" as a bonus, featuring a duet vocal with Chris Martin of Coldplay.) © Mark Deming /TiVo

Alternative & Indie - Released February 4, 2013 | Cooking Vinyl


Pop - Released July 8, 2008 | Yep Roc Records

Ron Sexsmith's musical demeanor seems so typical of the modesty common to his native Canada that the notion of him recording with a handful of Cuban jazz musicians sounds almost freakish. Would Sexsmith melt when he came in contact with the heat of the Latin players, or would he transform them into quiet, contemplative types pondering love and life over coffee and Tim Horton's doughnuts? Sexsmith's tenth album, Exit Strategy of the Soul, was produced by Martin Terefe, who after recording basic tracks got the idea of flying to Cuba to add additional horns and percussion courtesy of arranger Joaquin Betancourt and musicians Amaury Perez (trombone) and Alexander Abreu (trumpet). The results don't sound at all like jazz, but the soulful side that's often lurked under the surface of Sexsmith's music rises to the surface on tunes like "Music to My Ears" and "Last Round"; no, Sexsmith hasn't been transformed into Wilson Pickett, but there is a light R&B accent in these numbers that surprisingly suits him well, and he sounds comfortable and expressive in these surroundings. Sexsmith also collaborated with Leslie Feist on the song "Brandy Alexander," which boasts a gracefully hooky melody to go along with the horns, and even the songs that just feature the songwriter with a studio rhythm section show a warmth and understated passion that peek through the natural reserve of Sexsmith's voice. And for a man who sounded either uncomfortable or painfully shy as a vocalist on his early work, Exit Strategy of the Soul shows Sexsmith has matured into a confident and eloquent performer who sings nearly as well as he writes -- and he's as consistently good a songwriter as you'll find in North America these days. Exit Strategy of the Soul isn't just an experiment that succeeds, it's one of Sexsmith's strongest and most affecting works to date, and it's truly a pleasure to hear. © Mark Deming /TiVo

Alternative & Indie - Released February 14, 2020 | Cooking Vinyl Limited


Folk/Americana - Released December 7, 2010 | Nettwerk Records


Rock - Released March 1, 2011 | Ronboy Rhymes

Rock - Released April 21, 2017 | Compass Records

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Pop - Released June 10, 2008 | Yep Roc Records