14 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This consistently strong Canadian troubadour has never recorded a poor album and his ninth, 2008’s Exit Strategy of the Soul, features more solid love songs and philosophical aphorisms to satisfy his adult-folk-pop audience. Recording once again with producer Martin Terefe, Sexsmith set up shop in London and Havana, employing notable Cuban musicians, Amaury Perez and Alexander Abreu and arranger Joaquin Betancourt to punch up a few tunes along the way. “Brandy Alexander,” a song Sexsmith co-wrote with Canadian star Feist and that appears in slightly altered form on her album The Reminder, benefits from the extra bursts of festive horn. Yet, at heart, no matter how you dress him up, Sexsmith always returns to the acoustic guitar or piano to work out his tales of eager redemption. “This is How I Know,” “Thoughts and Prayers,” and “The Impossible World” come across as letters from an understanding friend who’s seen his share of hard times and may still be experiencing them; as the loneliness of “Traveling Alone” implies, this is one troubadour who’s spent his fair share of time on the road.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This consistently strong Canadian troubadour has never recorded a poor album and his ninth, 2008’s Exit Strategy of the Soul, features more solid love songs and philosophical aphorisms to satisfy his adult-folk-pop audience. Recording once again with producer Martin Terefe, Sexsmith set up shop in London and Havana, employing notable Cuban musicians, Amaury Perez and Alexander Abreu and arranger Joaquin Betancourt to punch up a few tunes along the way. “Brandy Alexander,” a song Sexsmith co-wrote with Canadian star Feist and that appears in slightly altered form on her album The Reminder, benefits from the extra bursts of festive horn. Yet, at heart, no matter how you dress him up, Sexsmith always returns to the acoustic guitar or piano to work out his tales of eager redemption. “This is How I Know,” “Thoughts and Prayers,” and “The Impossible World” come across as letters from an understanding friend who’s seen his share of hard times and may still be experiencing them; as the loneliness of “Traveling Alone” implies, this is one troubadour who’s spent his fair share of time on the road.

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