11th album and I never heard of him
pretty good lyrically

Grade - 1.7

released Mar 1st, 2011

from the album - Love Shines - 2.0


from all music


The earnest work of boyish Canadian singer/songwriter Ron Sexsmith won acclaim not from only critics but from fellow performers like Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, and John Hiatt -- some of the same artists, ironically enough, who initially inspired Sexsmith himself to become a musician. Born in 1964 and raised in the Niagara Falls area, he started his first band at the age of 14, and within a few years earned his first regular gig at an area club. Influenced by Pete Seeger, he began making the rounds on the folk circuit, but soon decided to focus his attentions on becoming a songwriter. After moving to the Toronto area, Sexsmith formed the Uncool and began issuing his own material in 1985 with the cassette Out of the Duff, followed a year later by There's a Way. He continued performing while maintaining a day job as a courier but did not release anything more until 1991's Grand Opera Lane, recorded by Blue Rodeo's Bob Wiseman. The collection of songs helped earn Sexsmith a songwriting contract and eventually a recording deal with Interscope Records; teamed with producer Mitchell Froom, he released his self-titled debut in 1995. A follow-up, Other Songs, appeared two years later. In 1999, Sexsmith returned with Whereabouts, again produced by Froom. Three years later, Sexsmith inked a deal with Nettwerk and released Cobblestone Runway in October 2002. His seventh album, Retriever, followed two years later. In 2005, Sexsmith shifted creative gears with Destination Unknown, a primarily acoustic album recorded in collaboration with longtime bandmate Don Kerr. Time Being arrived in 2006. Two years later, Sexsmith released his ninth studio album, Exit Strategy of the Soul, which was produced by Martin Terefe. His tenth album, Long Player Late Bloomer, produced by Bob Rock and recorded at Sage and Sound Recording (Hollywood), The Orange Lounge (Toronto), and The Warehouse Studio (Vancouver), appeared early in 2011.

Album Review

Ron Sexsmith has been writing great pop songs for so long it's hard to say why the man hasn't managed to make a great pop album; or, more accurately, one that would communicate his many virtues to listeners outside his cult of (mostly Canadian) admirers. Sexsmith has admirably refused to stay in one place stylistically, but the downside to this is a body of work that's impressive but not consistent enough in its vision to land him on the charts, and it didn't help at all that Sexsmith was clearly growing up in public as a performer on his first few records, which were full of marvelous tunes sung by a man who sounded as if he was afraid of the microphone. On Long Player Late Bloomer, Sexsmith seems to have finally made an album that's consistently strong and thoroughly user friendly; Bob Rock, the producer who helped bring Metallica and Motley Crue to the masses, wouldn't seem like a good choice to work with the guy who wrote "Strawberry Blonde," but Rock and Sexsmith prove to be an inspired pairing. Rock has assembled a crack band of session musicians to back Sexsmith, and the players (which include the great rock drummer Josh Freese and Travis Good of the Sadies on guitar) bring out the melodic strength of the songs and let them shine without burying them in gingerbread; the result is an album that sounds smart, engaging, and thoroughly approachable. Sexsmith sounds fully confident and at ease as a vocalist on these 13 songs, never overplaying but revealing the warmth and subtle strength he's gained as a singer over the years. And as usual, Sexsmith has written a handful of great songs for these sessions, sadly sweet meditations on life and love that reflect life's ups and downs without sounding dour or gloomy (a state that Sexsmith's voice can reflect if he's not careful). Sexsmith doesn't do anything on Long Player Late Bloomer that he hasn't done before, but this time out, he's had the right help in the studio to make an album that will sound as good to casual observers as his dedicated fans, and that's what sets this apart: if you've ever wanted to introduce yourself to the work of one of the finest songwriters in North America, Long Player Late Bloomer is just the album to get.

Track Listing

1 Get in Line Sexsmith 2:27
2 The Reason Why Sexsmith 3:13
3 Believe It When I See It Sexsmith 3:45
4 Miracles Sexsmith 2:31
5 No Help at All Sexsmith 3:30
6 Late Bloomer Sexsmith 4:08
7 Heavenly Sexsmith 2:31
8 Michael and His Dad Sexsmith 3:50
9 Middle of Love Sexsmith 3:04
10 Every Time I Follow Sexsmith 3:24
11 Eye Candy Sexsmith 3:45
12 Love Shines Sexsmith 4:28
13 Nowadays Sexsmith 3:00