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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant songwriting, but somewhat overproduced, 21 Sep 2000
This review is from: Whereabouts (Audio CD)
This was supposed to be Ron Sexsmith's breakthrough albim and is probably his best and most commercially successful to date. Slightly more upbeat than earlier, this should have found more mainstream fans.His songwriting is even sharper than before and the gorgeous Elma Fudd voice more confident.
The opener, "Still Time" is good indication of the themes dealt with throughout the album; a mix of romantic impatience, reflection, regret and hope.
The one regret on all this is the technically polished but uninspiring production. Like Ron's previous two albums(Ron Sexsmith and Other Songs), this was produced by Mitchell Froom, and the same 'sound' permeates through all. Too often the arrangements are over-fussy, which detracts from the raw poignancy of the lyrics and the natural flow of the music. The bland polish also means individual songs stand out less. This is a great shame. Anyone who has seen Ron in concert will testify that his music does not need 'dressing up' like this and that the songs come through more powerfully in simple acoustic settings. Mitchell Froom has done this with other people (Elvis Costello and even his own missus (one S.Vega)) and it nearly always leaves me with a thirst for a less proffessional approach. As this is the third album Ron and Mitch have done together, the production gave the false impression that the music hadn't progressed - which would be unfair. So, enough said, but please Ron, get a new producer.
The standout tracks are the first two, "still Time", "Right About Now" and the closer "Seem to recall", but there are no duds here. "One grey morning" is surprisingly jaunty, as is "Idiot Boy" and the rest continue the themes mentioned earlier.
So, is this the breakthrough album ?. I don't think so. Ron's definitely got the talent, but needs to find a setting which demands more rather than less of himself.
Close, but no cigar.
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Whereabouts by Ron Sexsmith (Audio CD - 2001)
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