Canadian singer/songwriter has gained a reputation as a somewhat sad sack kind of songsmith. Meaning that a lot of his songs, though well written, have a kind of woe is me feel to them. Well into his career (this is his fourteenth album) he is kind of changing things up and showing that there is still some evolution to do with his first single from Carousel One, “Saint Bernard”. It is light, frothy and silly with all its la-la-la-ing. Completely goofy and not exactly what you expect from Sexsmith unless you follow him on Twitter. The guy is funny! And on the leadoff single from the album he shows that silly ditties can be strong songs as “Saint Bernard” is one of the highlights of the album. He proves that he can do lighter and still make a good song. Throughout his career Sexsmith has an ability to borrow from a long line of singer/songwriters like Harry Nilsson and Elliott Smith and yet make his songs distinctive and fresh sounding. That is not to say that some of the tracks on the album aren’t weaker or sound so similar that they begin to blend into one another. You are willing to overlook the predictable songs because there are a couple of stunningly beautiful ones here. “Lucky Penny” is a pretty love song, “Nothing Feels the Same Anymore” is filled with some sharp melancholy and “Sun’s Coming Out” is perky and fun. Warm, charming, tender, and mellow is always what is to be expected from Ron Sexsmith and it is as comforting as the knowledge that the sun will rise in the east.
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