Retriever - Ron Sexsmith

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. [A] very wonderful, very adult set.
  2. While Sexsmith's music once seemed both too precise and too remote, on Retriever, he brings a subtle urgency to a set of songs that could double as proverbs.
  3. 80
    It is a pleasure to report that nothing has changed. [Jun 2004, p.108]
  4. 80
    A rare treasure indeed. [Aug 2004, p.101]
  5. 80
    The genius of Sexsmith’s seventh and best work is the way he surrounds (or, depending on your perspective, atones for) the empathy overload with deftly assimilated, gloriously ascendant pop hookcraft.
  6. If you know Sexsmith's work, then you already have a good idea of how good this album is, and if you don't, this is a fine place to get acquainted.
  7. It contains all the things that you, no doubt, love about Sexsmith already: A sort of wistful but reassuring melancholy, beautifully simple arrangements, strong lyricism, and Sexsmith's trademark Kermit-like vocals.
  8. Paired with his ever-fertile tunesmithery, ether-plucked choruses, and airwave melodies, singer and song beget a pop ball worth fetching again and again on Retriever.
  9. The same indefatigable hopefulness that sets Sexsmith apart also makes Retriever a bit tiresome.
  10. Sexsmith has always known how to deliver a gentle melody, but his work has a new gravity on Retriever; it adds up to his best album yet.
  11. Chiming 1960's folk-rock and Beatles-tinged melodies can't quite pull Ron Sexsmith out of the moderate despair that suffuses his songs.
  12. Sexsmith isn't pushing the musical envelope as intensely as he has on past efforts, and while his songwriting is as delicate and graceful as ever, there's simply nothing here that he hasn't done better or with more flair elsewhere.
  13. He's shot truer and more heartfelt arrows than these. [Jul 2004, p.122]
  14. Sexsmith is incapable of dishonesty, insincerity or cliché in his writing or performance, but none of these melodies soar and the lyrics reveal nothing new for him.

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