Seventh outing from Toronto troub, with Ed Harcourt on piano

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Ron Sexsmith – Retriever

There’s something comforting about Sexsmith’s crumpled croon, like wrapping yourself in a favourite duvet. The more robust Retriever differs as subtly from 2002’s Cobblestone Runway as the latter did to 2001’s country-tinged Blue Boy, but the central tenet remains the same: warmly uncluttered arrangements and the teasing out of emotional truths. In short, the dying art of songcraft, as much in the autumnal McCartney-isms of “Tomorrow In Her Eyes” as in the white-soul of “Whatever It Takes”. A rare treasure indeed.