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Whereabouts Import

4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Whereabouts is this Canadian singer/songwriter's third release. This album was produced by Mitchell Froom (Elvis Costello, Los Lobos, the Cardigans) and Tchad Blake (Sheryl Crow, Soul Coughing) and features a guest performance from Tracy Bonham.

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Pop is one of the most overused terms in the rock-critic lexicon, but on Whereabouts, Ron Sexsmith's third and most ambitious album to date, the brilliant Canadian singer-songwriter offers up 12 pop gems. "Still Time," the opening track, kicks things off with a purpose. Featuring an immediately memorable and haunting guitar riff, Beach Boys-style harmonies, and a hopeful yet melancholic lyrical theme ("Still time for love"), it could be mistaken as an outtake from the Kinks song book. Likewise, "Right About Now" has a distinctly Lennon-esque flair. Sexsmith's familiar idiosyncratic-yet-warm Jackson Browne-like vocals give all 12 tracks a certain sadness. Sexsmith and producer Mitchell Froom temper the darkness with neat tricks of the trade--be they the harpsichord that fades in and out of "Still Time," the banjo and violin on "Riverbed," the heavy piano riff that opens the wonderful "Feel for You," the lo-fi organ that pops up on "The Idiot Boy," or the New Orleans-meets-cabaret orchestra that gives "One Grey Morning" additional charm. This is melancholic pop, to be sure, but it all hurts so good. Whereabouts is further proof that Sexsmith is one of the most important artists to come out of the 1990s. --Bill Holdship
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 18, 1999)
  • Imported ed. edition
  • Original Release Date: May 18, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Universal I.S.
  • ASIN: B00000J2TT
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,878 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 1, 1999
Format: Audio CD
On his third album, Ron Sexsmith employs a larger band and busier arrangements than he did on his first two efforts, but as usual, the songs themselves are so arresting that you barely notice the instrumentation. "Every Passing Day" and "Feel for You" are perfect pop numbers, but without a doubt the best selection here is "Seem to Recall," an searingly honest ballad about lost love. Sexsmith's songs are at once familiar and utterly unique. Do not miss this wonderful, soul-enriching music!
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By A Customer on October 14, 1999
Format: Audio CD
On this third album, the instrumentation is a bit wider, richer than on the two previous ones. So the sound is even warmer. For the rest, it's business as usual: a voice full of emotion, wonderful melodies, clever and concise lyrics. Ron's music is lifelike. A great talent, and one of the nicest artists I've ever met. Come the success he deserves !
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Format: Audio CD
This album suffers by comparison to Other Songs, and it's a shame, because it's really hard to hit two grand slams in consecutive at-bats, if you'll excuse the baseball metaphor. There's nothing here to match Strawberry Blonde, Pretty Little Cemetery or So Young (to name but a few), but there are many nice moments to be had; and some listeners may even like this more because the subject matter is a bit more upbeat and more fleshed out instrumentally...more listener-friendly and geared toward the mainstream. Cuts I particularly liked were the melancholy but hopeful Still Time, the stately and melodic Riverbed, and Right About Now, which is almost soul. All in all, I recommend this album, because Sexsmith is a major talent and even his mediocre stuff is better than some people's best...but I think Whereabouts is a step sideways and hope he can top this one next time.
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Format: Audio CD
Very much in the style of his first two discs, Ron Sexsmith's Whereabouts has more melodic grace and lyrical economy than we have any right to expect in the 90s. From the opening notes of Still Time, the listener is in some kind of McCartneyesque haze of tuneful writing and inventive settings (brass and strings add colour when needed). The lyrics are simple, yet powerful and the whole package is delivered in a melancholy, unhurried style occasionally reminiscent of a particularly laid-back Ray Davies or Harry Nilsson. Ultimately, though, Ron Sexsmith's style resembles no one's. His writing and performances continue to add to a body of work that, with Whereabouts, has established him as one of pop's major artists.
Bernard Perusse
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By A Customer on May 2, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Ron Sexsmith is definitely one of Canada's musical treasures and it's quite unfortunate he hasn't gained more exposure in Canada or abroad. Fortunately, Ron has a cult following and I am quickly becoming one. Ron's songs are always melodic and beautiful and his lyrics are pure poetry. Ron is one of the few musicians in todays music who write from the heart and always have something important to say. Fantastic artist all around!
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Format: Audio CD
For unparalleled songcraft, charm and beauty look no further than Ron Sexsmith's Whereabouts, it really is a pleasure to own this album. Sexsmith has garnered a cult following over the past six or seven years and it's easy to hear why - his are songs that are as captivating as they are lovely. There is a deceptive simplicity to tunes like 'Riverbed' or 'Seem To Recall' in part due to Sexsmith's superb voice fitting his material like a glove; it's clear that in terms of songwriting he's in the zone - it all comes off with seemingly apparent ease. 'Still Time' is a wonderful opener with Sexsmith's natural modesty, oddly, shining through; "..we may never win, but while there's still hope - there's still time." Befitting of the cover art, 'Right About Now' is decidedly autumnal - measured, poignant but quite splendid all the same, as is most everything throughout. As a whole this record is a shade better than Ron Sexsmith's much heralded debut, and when it catches you on the right day Whereabouts is Sexsmith at his most beguiling and graceful best.
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Format: Audio CD
Wow, is this guy good! Well, very good ... okay, great! Sexsmith has a warm, soothing voice and his songs are bursting with melody and intelligent lyrics. I'm a relative latecomer to hearing his music, but the three albums that I've heard so far are all consistently terrific, this one 1999 set included.

Vocally, Sexsmith reminds me a cross between Rufus Wainwright and the late great Harry Nilsson. And like Nilsson, Sexsmith is able to compose catchy, intelligent songs that manage to stick in your head. Really, Sexsmith is such a fine songwriter that I'm surprised that he's not better known, or that more artists haven't covered his songs. Maybe it's time for a tribute album!

I don't know enough about Sexsmith's entire catalog to recommend this album over his other ones, but you certainly can't go wrong with this lovely collection of songs. The CD comes with a fold-out booklet that has lyrics to all of the songs, as well the lineup of all the musicians who play on this album (and it's an impressive group!). Buy this CD and support an outstanding singer-songwriter!
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Format: Audio CD
only got the album today in the mail and it's a stunning, beautiful piece of work, i only recently starting listening to ron and am amazed by the ease at which he turns out seemingly simply lyrics that are so touching, and the most beautiful melodies in the world....words cannot describe this artist, do yourself a favor, listen to this or any of his albums for 4-5 times and you will fall in love......this ranks right up there with Other Songs and Cobblestone Runway, superb.
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