Though his songwriting prowess is beyond question, Ron Sexsmith's Achilles heel is the fact that, regardless of which producers he works with or high-profile guest players he recruits, the guy always sounds like Ron Sexsmith. As lovely as his idiosyncratic, sighing cadence can be, that vocal tic tends to make most of his songs sound a little too similar. Though Time Being happily reunites the revered songsmith with Mitchell Froom (who produced Sexsmith's best albums), the really exciting news is that our man actually takes some vocal risks - and sounds like he's having fun doing it! On the stark, folksy Cold Hearted Wind, Sexsmith channels the ghost of Johnny Cash, quavering vibrato and all, while I Think We're Lost finds him doing his best Joe Pernice. And though he doesn't quite muster the Tom Waits rattle he aspires to on The Grim Trucker, album-closer And Now The Day Is Done features a beautiful, open balladeer croon. Froom's production is surprisingly restrained, favouring Byrdsian jangle and soulful folk arrangements over elaborate loops, and having Elvis Costello sidemen (drummer Pete Thomas and bassist Davey Faragher) as a rhythm section means that, even at their most melancholy, Sexsmith's tunes have a driving pulse.