Friday, April 17, 2020


A relaxed Sexsmith spins through all his favourite styles of pop songwriting, seemingly now without care for a bigger audience. His recent move to lovely Stratford from the Toronto rat race also seems to have lots to do with the jovial tone to the album, with lots of bright melodies and carefree lyrics. The homemade approach to the record, made with only longtime drummer/producer Don Kerr, doesn't hurt the tunes one bit, the recording quality fine and dandy and less laboured than some of his bigger productions.

Side One (if you're listening on vinyl, which you should) is the more whimsical fare, with a spring ditty ("Spring Of The Following Year") kicking things off. Other cuts include one about a gig sabotaged by a cranky sound man ("Winery Blues") and an ode to a homely house, "Chateau Mermaid." These tracks are all pure ear candy, fun and filled with easy-to-digest lyrics, along with cheery tunes. It's an old comparison, but it's apt: These songs remind me of early '70's Wings albums, both McCartney and Sexsmith enjoying putting their considerable talents into pleasing melodies and catchy kitsch.

Side two sees Sexsmith add a little more substance to the tracks, with lead single "You Don't Wanna Hear It" his best soul song since "Whatever It Takes." He gives us master class in lyric writing throughout, his wit on full display. "Dig Nation" rips the self-righteous a new one: "In Dig Nation, there are plenty of people who can never see the chapel for the steeple." It's not only the words, it's the phrasing, as he matches the melody seemingly effortlessly in "Apparently Au Pair": "Where would I be if not for you? Apparently nowhere." Add lots of jaunty keyboards and sweet harmonies, and this is all smiles, especially for the listener.

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