18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From The Heart
All of Ron Sexsmith's album reviews have been lavishly festooned with stars and his latest offering should not be an exception. His gentle, introspective alternative folk albums have been produced by such talents as Bob Wiseman, Steve Earle, Don Kerr, Daniel Lanois and Bob Rock but, to my mind, his music achieves its greatest expression when produced by Mitchell...
Published 10 months ago by Angel Delta
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps A Grower
'Foerever Endeavour' is okay and frequently on the earphones. It was disappointing at first but it's growing with familiarity. 'Nowhere To Go' was a disappointing start but 'If Only Avenue' hit home and 'Snake Road' and 'Sneak Out The Back Door' ensure a solid if not outstanding album.
Published 8 months ago by lonniej
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From The Heart,
This review is from: Forever Endeavour (Audio CD)All of Ron Sexsmith's album reviews have been lavishly festooned with stars and his latest offering should not be an exception. His gentle, introspective alternative folk albums have been produced by such talents as Bob Wiseman, Steve Earle, Don Kerr, Daniel Lanois and Bob Rock but, to my mind, his music achieves its greatest expression when produced by Mitchell Froom.
Sexsmith's considerable talents as writer and performer have been acclaimed by John Hiatt, Elvis Costello and Paul McCartney among others and it is strange that this critical acclaim has not been matched with commercial success. Nevertheless he continues to delight with his beautifully crafted lyrics and melodies and I suppose that his work ethic is exposed in the title of the album "Forever Endeavour".
With lushly arranged strings, brass and woodwind, Froome's production brings an elegant grandeur to the melancholy simplicity of the songs. The mood is set on the opening track "Nowhere To Go" with mournful French horn, a string quartet and Ron's aching voice making us aware of the often hopelessness of existence. The gentle, bittersweet "If Only Avenue" is underpinned by bass guitar lines reminiscent of Duane Eddy with French horn, baroque strings and woodwind creating an inspired musical tapestry.
The musical score is enriched by veteran sessionmen Bob Glaub (bass), Greg Leisz (pedal steel), The Attraction's drummer Pete Thomas and Cracker's Davey Faragher on bass. Included in the impressive mix are the sounds of tuba and brass. But nowhere is this musical tapestry allowed to impose upon the elegiac quality of Ron's voice. "Life After A Broken Heart" is a masterpiece of musical understatement with melody, lyrics and voice ghosted by subtle strings.
"Deepens With Time" and "Morning Light" were written in the aftermath of a cancer scare and Froom's arrangements are supremely sensitive to the emotional reality of Ron's voice. But there are a couple of upbeat numbers too - "She Does My Heart Good" and the bouncy New Orleans jazz sound of "Me, Myself And Wine", a tribute to the enjoyment of a glass or two, shows that not all hope is lost in Ron's world.
This album collects some of Sexsmith's finest work, with the dream like "Lost In Thought", the sixties pop sound of "Back Of My Hand" and the bluesy "Snake Road" demonstrating that there are few songwriters around today who can match Sexsmith for versatility and craftsmanship. If the record buying public are content for him to remain my personal cult hero that is a sad indictment but I suppose I must be happy with that.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Winner From Ron,
This review is from: Forever Endeavour (Audio CD)I have to confess from the outset; I am a huge fan of Ron Sexsmith. So any new releases are always eagerly anticipated. But putting aside my natural bias, this is an exceptional album. It may lack the radio friendly pop sheen of its' predecessor, 'Long Player, Late Bloomer'. But this is a lush, lavish sounding affair with wonderful arrangements, courtesy of long time producer and friend Mitchell Froom. Personal highlights for me are 'Nowhere Is, the Beatles' sounding 'Back Of My Hand', 'Deepens With Time,' the gorgeous melody in 'Autumn Light' and the wonderful simplicity of Ron and his guitar in perfect harmony on 'Sneak Out The Back Door.' The orchestrations never detract from the overall sound of the album; and it's particularly heartening to hear Ron's vocals right up front in the mix. His voice has never sounded better.
If you're the kind of person who likes to kick back with an album, and savour it in its' entirety, and also enjoy songwriters in the style of McCartney, Costello, Hardin etc, then this could be the album for you.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing album,
This review is from: Forever Endeavour (Audio CD)This album is so good, I though Sexsmith would struggle keeping up to his amazing standard over the years, but he really hasn't.
This album is a bit more chilled than the last one, and is so easy to listen to all the way through in one sitting.
Not predictable or samey in comparison to his other albums, I actually think I prefer this album to Long Player, Late Bloomer.
Cheapest you will get it here on amazon, with fast deliver, cannot complain.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great album!,
This review is from: Forever Endeavour (Audio CD)I didn't instantly like this album if I am honest. It's my first Ron Sexsmith album, and I bought it as I has tickets to his show in Birmingham. Anyway, gave it a chance, went to see him live, now love it!
5.0 out of 5 stars Ron Sexsmith,
This review is from: Forever Endeavour (Audio CD)What a unique artist he is. I love his lyrics, music, voice and character, what a guy! more more more please Ron!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Grower,
This review is from: Forever Endeavour (Audio CD)This album contains some of the best songs I've heard for ages but, as other contributors have noted, it takes time for them to emerge in their full splendour. It's a warm, glowing, golden sound and Sexsmith's voice is deeper and more resonant than ever. What a great songwriter he is - even the simplest lyrics are full of wisdom and a gentle, humane vision.
5.0 out of 5 stars My appreciation of this album deepens with time,
This review is from: Forever Endeavour (Audio CD)I'm a big admirer of Ron Sexsmith. I discovered his music years ago after one of my musical heroes, Elvis Costello, enthused about him to a music magazine. Costello is usually a man of impeccable taste (I have discovered quite a few artists through his covers and recommendations) and he didn't steer me wrong in this case; my collection of Ron's albums grew very quickly until there was nothing left to buy. The vast majority of Sexsmith albums are excellent and are generally slow-burners which get better with every listen. "Forever Endeavour" is no exception to this rule. In fact, I have to admit that I was vaguely disappointed when I heard it for the first time, but after quite a few listens, it is now one of my favourite releases of the year. This is quite a familiar experience when it comes to Ron Sexsmith's music - the songs get you in the end.
"Forever Endeavour", Ron's thirteenth studio album, is a collection of predominantly gentle, subtly melodic songs, ably and tastefully produced by Mitchell Froom, someone Ron has worked with many times before. It sees a return to a more familiar carefully-crafted sound after 2011's brilliant but slightly more polished "Long Player Late Bloomer" produced by Bob Rock, a name more associated with acts such as Metallica and Bon Jovi rather than a singer-songwriter such as Ron. This album feels more organic than the last (Ron's superb, characteristic voice was unnecessarily tampered with on "Long Player" which, to me, was the major fault of the whole album) and I suspect that long-time fans will also appreciate hearing a record that has the same kind of ambience as those earlier albums which made us fall deeply in love with his music.
There are plenty of notable tracks on "Forever Endeavour" and the album's first few songs, in particular, are superb. "Nowhere To Go" has a delicately beautiful melodic theme, "Nowhere Is" and "If Only Avenue" are simply gorgeous pieces with Ron's expressive voice augmented by sublime arrangements, featuring strings that tastefully enhance and compliment his vocals perfectly. The catchy, bluesy "Snake Road" sees Ron revisiting regrettable episodes in his past and hoping that he doesn't make the same mistakes again, "Sneak Out The Back Door" is a charming little ditty which betrays Sexsmith's discomfort with social situations, "Me, Myself and Wine" has an immensely likeable New Orleans, swing-jazz character and "Autumn Light", the final track, is almost painfully sad and yet quietly magnificent.
Although "Forever Endeavour" isn't quite enough of a masterpiece for me to declare it my new favourite Ron Sexsmith album, it certainly sits comfortably amongst his best work and doesn't contain one dull or even average track and is a thoroughly lovely, mature, accomplished piece of work which is a credit to Ron, the band (featuring two of Elvis Costello's Imposters, Pete Thomas and Davey Faragher) and Mitchell Froom, the talented producer who always seems to get the very best out of the underrated Canadian songsmith. Just don't make the mistake of dismissing this wonderful album after one listen, because one listen of this album simply isn't enough to really appreciate it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Ron rolls on and continues to bloom,
This review is from: Forever Endeavour (Audio CD)having been introduced recently to Ron via the Long Player Late Bloomer documentary and CD I was nervous that it would be difficult for him to follow that up however he has proved me wrong and these tracks are another fine set of songs from the great songsmith. Recently saw him live at The Royal Albert Hall and all the songs off this CD came over extremely well live particularly Snake Road and Sneak out the backdoor and Blind eye - if you are new to Ron this is a great little set of songs. do try it out
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ron delivers another sensitive and beutiful set.,
This review is from: Forever Endeavour (Audio CD)Ron Sexsmith deserves every bit of success he has had and is bound to get in the future. This album is another one in his wonderful outpouring of beautiful songs.
Reminding me of Nilson and Paul McCartney in his lilting melodies and heartfelt poetic lyrics. I cant wait to see him live this time in London.Songwriting and music at its best.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality,
This review is from: Forever Endeavour (Audio CD)Five stars because it's a collection of actually 'great' songs all shot through with a kind of 1970s sonic nostalgia. Would recommend it to anyone who has a heart.
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