Exit Strategy Of The Soul (Warner)

Rating: NNNN

Although Ron Sexsmith is known as a singer/songwriter, he’s always selling himself short by making songwriter albums. Somehow, plonking out his newest compositions on piano on Exit Strategy Of The Soul (out July 1) instead of acoustic guitar seems to have activated his dormant singer side.

It’s just one of several decisions that’s paid off. The other brilliant move was producer Martin Terefe’s idea of going to Havana to dub on a Cuban brass section trying to fake Memphis Horns-?style head riffs. They never get it quite right, but what they come up with works perfectly as a brightening counterbalance for Sexsmith’s darker inclinations.

Even if Leslie Feist hadn’t added some pleasant backing vocals, this would still be a commendable breakthrough.

Ron Sexsmith headlines the Gilda’s Club benefit It’s Always Something… Else! at the Drake Tuesday (June 24).

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