Ron Sexsmith – Long Player Late Bloomer

January 01, 1970

(Ronboy Records)


Ten albums on, Ron Sexsmith still casts himself in the guise
of the reluctant pop star, an artist who crafts vibrant, uplifting melodies
from a heavy lidded perspective. It’s not surprising that he counts Paul
McCartney, Elvis Costello and John Hiatt among his more celebrated admirers;
like them, he’s etched a trademark sound that’s unassuming yet knowing, with
Sexsmith himself the woe begotten observer filled with wonder, yearning and an
endless attempt to surmount his ill-fated circumstances. Self-effacing to a
fault, he doesn’t exactly embrace ambition, but doesn’t shy away from it


Not surprisingly then, Long
Player Late Bloomer
would otherwise seem an appropriate title were it not
for the fact that it comes so far along in his career. His baby-faced
countenance aside, Sexsmith’s long since proved himself a polished
professional, one whose songs and arrangements reflect the spit and polish of
true pop purist. The joyful revelry of “Get In Line” and the dreamy serenade
“Miracles” find a familiarity on first listen, while other tunes nudge that
instant affability by discreetly borrowing from a well-etched blueprint. Ray
Davies seems a particularly credible reference; like the former Kinks Kingpin,
Sexsmith has an unfailing ability to mask his music in a self-effacing veneer.
The slide guitar riffs that punctuate “Believe It When I See It” bring to mind
the instrumental flourishes of George Harrison or America at their most expressive.
Likewise, “Everytime I Follow” and “Eye Candy” offer those sweet little hooks
and nuances that Badfinger and the Raspberries once asserted so well.


Ultimately then, Long
Player Late Bloomer
is every bit as superb as its predecessors. It’s what’s
come to be expected, given Sexsmith’s standards, and it likely always will.
That in itself is high praise indeed


In Line,” “Miracles,” “Everytime I Follow” LEE ZIMMERMAN

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