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Forever Endeavour

4.6 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Feb. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cooking Vinyl
  • ASIN: B00A6AY2QC
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,696 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Cherished Canadian crooner Ron Sexsmith will release his new album Forever Endeavour on Feb 4, 2013 via Cooking Vinyl. Forever Endeavour features another batch of deftly poetic, gently affecting songs that perfectly distil the pitfalls of being human. This record pairs Sexsmith again with producer Mitchell Froom,who,on numerous records over two decades, has framed Sexsmith's music in its most sympathetic surroundings. The heart of Forever Endeavour is a batch of songs sparked by an unexpected health scare in the summer of 2011, and it's these tracks that give the album its sorrowful gravitas. "In the middle of a tour last year, they detected a lump in my throat, so I had this period of a few months where I was freaking out about everything, says Ron, that probably explains why some of the songs are so philosophical. The spectre of death was sort of in my head and I was thinking about it all the time until I got the good results. I felt like Johnny Mercer, writing all these 'Days Of Wine and Roses' type songs. The 12 original songs on Forever Endeavour were recorded in 2011 at Froom's Santa Monica studio. Assisting on the sessions were engineer David Boucher and a clutch of seasoned West Coast players that included drummer Pete Thomas, bassist Bob Glaub and pedal steel prince Greg Leisz. Strings were overdubbed afterwards using L.A.'s feted Calder Quartet.

BBC Review

In the summer of 2011, eternally boyish Canadian troubadour Ron Sexsmith endured a major health scare, an issue from which he has thankfully now fully recovered.

The wake-up call seems to have injected the 49-year-old’s typically melancholic pop signature with both an increased poignancy and, here and there on this, his lucky 13th long-player, moments of near rhapsody.

Indeed, Forever Endeavour could be Sexsmith’s most persuasive outing since his eponymous 1995 major label debut.

Produced in LA by veteran helmsman Mitchell Froom and featuring a cast of stellar players, including sometime Attractions drummer Pete Thomas, pedal steel nabob Greg Leisz and LA string players the Calder Quartet, it’s an album whose ingenuous, often nakedly honest songwriting offers an emotional fist gloved in arrangements of seductive velvet.

Everywhere, Sexsmith’s voice, a potent mélange of Jackson Browne, Tim Hardin and John Hiatt, ekes out every last nuance of melody, but with a seamless, almost conversational effortlessness.

Typically, early highlight If Only Avenue wraps ruefulness bordering on regret (“With the luxury of hindsight / The past becomes so clear / As I look out on the twilight / My days have become years.”) in undulating folds of decorous violins, punctuated here and there by bursts of Duane Eddy-recalling guitar twang.

The even more lavishly orchestrated Blind Eye alloys a yearning, Willy DeVille-like street-corner pop croon with warm-toned Al Green soulfulness and the odd wry apercu: “God must have gone fishing now / With all that hell’s dishing out.”

The exquisitely delivered, country-tinged Lost in Thought, meanwhile, could have slipped from the grooves of Elvis Costello’s Imperial Bedroom, if not the pages of the Great American Songbook; and the plangent, chiming McCartney-esque pop-rocker Back of the Hand is arguably the sunniest moment in the entire Sexsmith oeuvre.

It’s become a critics’ cliché to dismiss Sexsmith as a terminally unfashionable nearly man; a songwriter’s songwriter, enmeshed forever in the style and trappings of a bygone age.

But on this evidence, that’s really no bad thing – you could almost think of him as the straight Rufus Wainwright. His talent, if not his understated demeanour, surely deserves a profile to match that of his ostentatious (semi-)countryman.

--David Sheppard

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Angel Delta TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Feb. 2013
Format: 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.
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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.
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By Nadou on 22 Jun. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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.
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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.
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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.
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