Ron Sexsmith

Time Being (Iron Works)

Phases & Stages

Ron Sexsmith

Time Being (Ironworks)

With popmeisters as legendary as Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello singing his praises, Ron Sexsmith might finally be poised to rise above cult status. This is especially true since the Canadian singer-songwriter borrows a great deal from both experts. Sexsmith's eighth album and first for Kiefer Sutherland's Ironworks imprint, Time Being, as with his previous work, is laden with winning melodies and a poet's worldly insight. Producer Mitchell Froom, who lent chamber pop expertise to Sexsmith's major-label albums in the late Nineties, lends an instantly familiar warmth to the proceedings here. Highlights like the jangly "I Think We're Lost" and "All in Good Time," with its soulful bounce, are among Sexsmith's best, while his cracked sense of humor informs the Beatlesque "The Grim Trucker" and cleverly topical "Jazz at the Bookstore," whose line about a "cup of caffeinated bliss" is as good as any summation of Time Being. (Ron Sexsmith plays Stubb's inside, Tuesday, Jan. 23.)

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