Release Date: Apr 6, 2004
Record label: Nettwerk
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Singer-Songwriter
While Ron Sexsmith has had little problem establishing his identity as a songwriter with the warm, compassionate intelligence of his lyrics, as a recording artist he's been a bit harder to pin down. After escaping the tape-loop jungle of Mitchell Froom's production on his first three major-label albums, Sexsmith has seen his music matched with the roots-oriented pop approach of Blue Boy and the subtle electronic textures of Cobblestone Runway, each successful but in decidedly different ways. At first listen, Sexsmith's sixth album, Retriever, sounds like an attempt to move back to the style of Other Songs or Whereabouts, but without the production excesses of those sessions; many of the melodies boast '60s-influenced pop hooks, and Martin Terefe's production subtly reinforces the Beatlesque qualities of the music, with occasional side trips into the land of '70s singer/songwriters ("Whatever It Takes" could almost pass for a lost Bill Withers track).