Ron Sexmith – The Last Rider (rating 4 out of 5)

Ron Sexmith is one of the many artists that is a real big deal north of the border, but largely obscure and very under rated in the United States. With Pop sensibilities that would make Brian Wilson blush, The Last Rider is a Pop masterpiece from start to finish.  The opening track, “It won’t last flows like the best ballad Elvis Costello has ever produced, and “Our Way” is finely produced love song that would have fit in quite nicely on a mid-70’s Kinks album.  “I Look into your eyes till I lose myself and the world starts turning our way” sets the mood just perfectly.

“Breakfast Ethereal” will put you in the Hot Tub Time Machine back to the land of Pet Sounds.  If Brian Wilson had a love-child with Rufus Wainwright who recorded an album that crossed the cosmic divide between Pet Sounds and The Beatles “Strawberry Fields Forever,” this song would have been the offspring.

And the cool vibes don’t stop there. Ron goes lower and a bit slower on “Shoreline” where the lush string arrangements bring forward the top-notch production values shown throughout by Sexmith who produced this album himself.

There is a slow build up in tempo all the way up to “Radio,” a song that be seems to share some DNA with the similarly named Al Stewart song, “Song on the Radio,” and with  “Dreams are Bigger” you get a sweet, pungent second-hand smoke whiff of Harry Nilsson.

After about 5 turns of the table, this platter gets better and better. There is literally not a bad song to be heard, and since the over/under for maintaining a relationship is three dates, it looks like Ron Sexmith, The Last Rider and I will be BFF’s for a very long time.