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Ron Sexsmith - Whereabouts
(Interscope)

Whereabouts is the rare record whose earnestness lures you in rather than turning you off in Jewel-like disgust. This third major-label release from the Canadian talent has a great early-í70s singer/songwriter vibe. Twelve songs, and every single one of them is worthy. Pop gems like "Feel For You" and "Must Have Heard It Wrong" would be hit singles in a nicer world, and the barely adorned ballads like "In A Flash" cut right to the heart. "Seem To Recall," a mid-tempo meditation on times when life seemed so certain and settled, is a song so precious it demands to be played multiple times in a row. Sexsmithís gorgeous voice soars throughout. Production is courtesy of the Mitchell Froom/Tchad Blake mafia, like thatís a surprise. An album that only a misanthrope could hate.

YEAH YEAH YEAH, 1999