Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Music Review: Retriever

Title: Retriever
Artist: Ron Sexsmith
Label: Sony
Year: 2004

Retriever is a perfect record. Buy it. Now. Ron Sexsmith is every great pop songwriter distilled into one: Burt Bacharach, Paul McCartney, Matthew Sweet, Elvis Costello, Joe Pernice. No exaggeration. No flag waving. No touting CanCon. The heart wrenching beauty of “Tomorrow in Her Eyes” reigns in enough to save itself from Macca schmaltz. Coy turns of phrase in “Imaginary Friends” rivals Costello, but the latter’s spitting cynicism is tapered by Sexsmith’s grounded gentleness. “Happiness” splits the darkest face into a sunny smile dispelling the myth that great pop must have a dark underbelly. Retriever fails wonderfully on the saccharine front delivering no one to a dentist due to sugary rot. Indeed, it’s the perfect record to deliver the winter weary through the dog ends of the season.

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