i've been meaning to buy a r. sexsmith album for a long time now, ever since i heard his version of "ships go out" on the tom t. hall tribute. i bought blue boy used at the hollywood amoeba last weekend, and i've been listening to it at least twice a day since. the songs are spoonfuls of nearly-perfect pop; the lyrics are sweet, frank, and clever-but-not-too-clever. on the first track r.s. sounds a bit like rufus wainwright, but without the qualities that bug me about r.w. the saddest and most beautiful song on the disc is "foolproof," which employs trumpets reminiscent of sarah harmer's sophisticated instrumentations. r.s.'s vocals are stylish in an almost old-fashioned way, full of unexpected riffs and unscripted emotions.
the last time i fell for an album so quickly was over four years ago at the kent state university bookstore, when i happened upon a little album called good dog bad dog and immediately knew that i'd found my favorite band.
i've heard r.s.'s retriever is an excellent album as well, though i'm tempted to go back to his earlier work so as to not read the book backwards.