Conceding little to the pop fads of the time, Ron Sexsmith’s 1995 self-titled debut album could’ve been recorded twenty years earlier (or ten years later). The Canadian singer/songwriter’s vulnerable vocals and whimsical tunes are in the tradition of artists like Harry Nilsson, John Lennon, Paul Simon and similar greats. Yet Sexsmith is very much his own artist, adept at sly wordplay and bittersweet folk melodies (with some rock oomph thrown in at key moments). He reveals himself to be a fragile optimist, steeling himself for a romantic challenge in “Secret Heart” or pondering a change of scenery in “Lebanon, Tennessee.” He’s equally drawn to the wonders of childhood (“Speaking With An Angel”) and the creepy aspects of urban life (“From A Few Streets Over”). Sexsmith is most eloquent when he slips into nostalgia for a lost past, especially in the gorgeously melancholy “Galbraith Street.” Though quirky, he’s really a pop classicist at heart, as elegantly-crafted tracks like “Wastin’ Time” make clear. Mitchell Froom’s production compliments Sexsmith's sensitive acoustic guitar with reedy organs, ragged horns and other slightly askew touches. First track to last, Ron Sexsmith is an insightful, affecting song collection with the timeless feel of a classic.