14 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Elvis Costello sang the praises of this Canadian singer-songwriter’s self-titled 1995 album. Remarkably, Sexsmith returned with an even finer set of tunes for the follow-up. 1997’s Other Songs is a remarkably compact set of 14 meticulously crafted pop-rock gems. Sexsmith’s voice has been likened to ‘60s troubadour Tim Hardin and he also shares Hardin’s economic sense of style. No phrases are wasted; no melody wanders for long. Producer Mitchell Froom keeps a small room ambience on most tracks, adding ornamental touches sparingly (though the horns on “Clown in Broad Daylight” suggest a detour to Mardi Gras). From the purring organ notes that open “Thinking Out Loud” to Sheryl Crow’s accordion that trails off for “April After All,” Other Songs is a modest collection of hymn-like compositions that range from brilliant short-stories (“Strawberry Blonde,” “Pretty Little Cemetery”) to AM pop songs from another era (“Nothing Good,” “Honest Mistake”). Sexsmith’s pensive delivery is heightened by the spacey, slapback echo appended to “Child Star” and “So Young,” songs that longingly look to the past and future with equal trepidation and hope.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Elvis Costello sang the praises of this Canadian singer-songwriter’s self-titled 1995 album. Remarkably, Sexsmith returned with an even finer set of tunes for the follow-up. 1997’s Other Songs is a remarkably compact set of 14 meticulously crafted pop-rock gems. Sexsmith’s voice has been likened to ‘60s troubadour Tim Hardin and he also shares Hardin’s economic sense of style. No phrases are wasted; no melody wanders for long. Producer Mitchell Froom keeps a small room ambience on most tracks, adding ornamental touches sparingly (though the horns on “Clown in Broad Daylight” suggest a detour to Mardi Gras). From the purring organ notes that open “Thinking Out Loud” to Sheryl Crow’s accordion that trails off for “April After All,” Other Songs is a modest collection of hymn-like compositions that range from brilliant short-stories (“Strawberry Blonde,” “Pretty Little Cemetery”) to AM pop songs from another era (“Nothing Good,” “Honest Mistake”). Sexsmith’s pensive delivery is heightened by the spacey, slapback echo appended to “Child Star” and “So Young,” songs that longingly look to the past and future with equal trepidation and hope.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
11 Ratings
11 Ratings
sc__bergman ,

one of the "great" albums

If there is a modern folk song better than "Strawberry Blonde", I can't think of it. "Nothing Good" has an intro that would make The Byrds jealous. "It Never Fails" has a melody that is timeless and unforgettable. Ron has an enormous talent for songwriting and it is showcased on this album.

ontheflightline ,

The Real Deal

All of Ron Sexmith's albums, including this one, are full of songs that are well written, well performed and pull the listener easily through peaks and valleys not found in the typical song adventure. Sexsmith is the real deal. This album is a must.

BwanaEast ,

ANOTHR LOVELY COLLECTION OF SONGS

One of the best songwriters of the past fifteen years, this is an even finer collection of songs than his self-titled debut. Nostalgic, empathic, and sentimental at times, Sexsmith never lays it on too thick. He knows how to draw you into his stories and so does his producer (Mitchell Froom), who adds lovely sounds and textures that never overwhelm the singer or the song.

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