Ron Sexsmith, Meaghan Smith Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., Sept. 27, 10 p.m. 2008

Producer Martin Terefe lays it on thick on Exit Strategy of the Soul (Yep Roc), the latest from Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith. None of the songs really needs those strings or that horn section—Sexsmith can carry the show on his own with his brain-burrowing melodies and delicate, enchanting voice. One thing that makes him compelling is the way he marries those pretty tunes to such a bleak worldview: On “One Last Round” he laments the degraded world we’re leaving for our children, but he’s so despairing the only thing he can think to do is have another drink. And on “Brandy Alexander,” a song he wrote with Feist, he delivers lines like “As silently I must confess this sin / Tastes better after juice and gin” with a kind of nonchalant self-indictment that makes his version far more sinister than hers (on The Reminder). —Peter Margasak

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