Ron Sexsmith once again proves the music world's rewards are not solely based on talent. For more than a decade, the Canadian singer-songwriter has built a wonderful, albeit slept-on, body of work.
Forever Endeavour, his 13th album, is more of the same but in the best possible way. Sexsmith's recent health scare, where a benign tumour was removed from his throat, finds him reflecting on mortality. Teaming up with the producer Mitchell Froom, Forever Endeavour is a more dense and bruised outing with a few chipper songs puncturing the prevalent melancholy.
However, this isn't a dark and dour album. Sexsmith's pop sensibilities are never too far way, such as on the string-laden Deepens with Time and the more upbeat If Only Avenue. The latter finds Sexsmith at his reflective best, tempering past regrets with a stoic attitude: "In the company of distance / We see where it all went wrong / And we know what we'd do different / Should the chance come along." While it won't trouble the charts, Forever Endeavour is another opportunity to be acquainted with a neglected songwriting talent.