ron sexsmith – ron sexsmith (1995)

What is artistic confidence? Probably writing an album of saccharine songs, singing them with frail Canadian vocals, and somehow sounding wholly sincere and completely natural. Ron Sexsmith is a great songwriter. Similar to Nick Lowe, another great, Sexsmith expresses emotions and situations in a frank, guileless tone that also breathes out unreplicable kinks. There are easy analytic pitfalls to trip into (and I have)—‘uncool but cool,’ ‘Canadian nerd,’ ‘baby-faced’—the implication being that the end result is from divine intervention. This is a lovely acoustic record, rich with unpretentious melodies. The singer is melancholic, but bathes in his awkward sensitivities like a labrador in a mud puddle. 

27/30

A favourite: ‘Lebanon, Tennessee’ 

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