- 20 Feb 23
Songs from a reborn romantic.
If Canadian songsmith Ron Sexsmith has failed to captivate you with his 16 previous outings, this could be the one. From start to finish, he exudes a relaxed romantic confidence, like a man truly on top of his game.
The Vivian Line is a railroad near his rural residence, which signifies the crossing from a former life into pastures new. And it shows. ‘A Place Called Love’ sets the mood with plangent guitar, as Ron’s delicately weighted voice, oboe and sturdy drums combine for a slice of musical heaven.
The uptempo ‘What I Had In Mind’ is quintessential new Sexsmith, an optimistic love song, and the perfect soundtrack for when you want to leave all the bad stuff behind. ‘Outdated & Antiquated’ revisits that upbeat mood, despite the downbeat nature of the “I don’t fit in” lyrics. ‘One Bird Calling’, meanwhile, comes with wraparound strings, and ‘When Our Love Was New’ has touches of Declan O’Rourke.
Produced in Nashville by multi-instrumentalist Brad Jones, The Vivian Line sees Ron Sexsmith continue the idyll of 2020’s Hermitage. Female vocals and a notable array of instruments all earn their keep, as do the songs, which all come in under three-and-a-half minutes – and leave the listener more than satisfied. As I expect you will be too.
Listen: ‘What I Had In Mind’
Out now via Cooking Vinyl.
Read more album reviews in the new issue of Hot Press, starring Inhaler and The Academic - out now.