Sexsmith & Kerr Destination Unknown

Sexsmith & Kerr Destination Unknown

3.5 out of 5 3.5 out of 5 3.5 out of 5 3.5 out of 5 3.5 out of 5 3.5

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Ron Sexsmith and the Rheostatics’ Don Kerr (a veteran indie rock producer who toured with Sexsmith as part of his band) mingle like a pair of acoustic tenor angels on their collaboration Destination Unknown. “Misfit songs sung by a couple misfits” is how Sexsmith describes the record but nevertheless the gently folkified pop/rock found on these 13 tracks is instantly familiar; much like his criminally underappreciated catalog, Sexsmith’s faintly gritty tenor wraps itself around these evocative vignettes like so much barroom smoke. Childhood is a theme very much evident in the disc’s packaging and it’s one that carried over to the songs as well—“Lemonade Stand,” “Tree-Lined Street,” the sweetly mournful “Raindrops In My Coffee,” and “Diana Sweets” manage a practically Proustian level of sense memory recall. A largely acoustic affair, laced with pedal steel and dobro, this unplugged set, produced by Kerr, is a minor-key stunner that rewards repeated listens and in a just world, would win this deserving artist legions of new and rabid fans. Sexsmith’s 2004 full-length Retriever was a melancholy singer-songwriter affair that dealt with the string of harsh events experienced by the troubadour; expanding his sound and threading a world-weary perspective through his songs, Sexsmith delivered an unassuming, wounded masterpiece. Destination Unknown, on the other hand, is a fairly upbeat (for the most part) and engaging record that’s aided tremendously by Kerr’s reedy vocals; while the title suggests an aimless amble through the back roads of life, Sexsmith knows precisely where he’s going and easily entices you to join him on the journey.

Release Date
September 12, 2005
Label
Emergent
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