Exit Strategy Of The Soul is a slow-burning treat, another most enjoyable well-kept...
Daryl Easlea 2008
Shorn of the expectations of being the next big thing that dogged him at the end of the 90s, Canadian-born singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith is now a seasoned elder statesman, still feted by those he once idolised. Exit Strategy Of The Soul is full of his particularly personal music, sweet and meaningful.
Working again with Swedish producer, Martin Terefe, and recorded in London, the album is close mic'd and intimate, informed by soul and gospel music. This is however, a subtle starting point rather than the work's mission statement. This Is How I Know, the first song written for the record is comforting, assured, grown-up music, with its subtle deployment of Cuban horn section. Chased By Love has enough McCartneyisms to keep the casual pop-head enticed, while the listener feels they have been invited into Sexsmith's parlour to hear him play the 'gorgeously imperfect' piano on the lilting sway of Impossible World.
Brandy Alexander – co-written with fellow Canadian and current favourite Leslie Feist – is peaceful, sweet soul music; Van Morrison's Caledonian Soul Orchestra and Jeb Loy Nichols are pleasantly evoked. The hope and grace of Brighter Still is remarkable; upbeat, understated, very lovely indeed.
In a perfect world, it would be Ron Sexsmith out there on million of coffee tables amid/instead of the Newton Faulkners and Jack Johnsons. However, while we may wait a long time for that, Exit Strategy Of The Soul is a slow-burning treat, another most enjoyable well-kept secret.