Canadian music was very much in vogue some years back, but all the talk was about Metric, Stars and Feist. Somehow, the recognition seemed to bypass Ron Sexsmith – one of the Great White North's more enduring talents.
Despite earning praise from such disparate figures as Elton John, Elvis Costello and Chris Martin (the latter appeared on a Sexsmith album some years ago), the Ontarian has remained under the radar.
He is, to employ that truism, a songwriter's songwriter.
Forever Endeavour, his 13th album, is something of a disappointment, however.
While a good half-dozen of the songs here showcase a long-fostered craft and can stand alongside Sexsmith's best material, the remainder fail to resonate in any meaningful way.
An air of foreboding hangs over much of the material, a by-product possibly of a health scare he experienced last year.
One of the more compelling songs, Nowhere To Go, appears to be about finding himself in a dark place although he has subsequently claimed that the song is about the emptiness he felt while "fooling around" in the years before he met his wife.
Elsewhere, the wry Me, Myself and Wine is the latest in a long line of songs inspired by alcohol. It's an understated delight and would make the listener keen to reach for a bottle of their favourite vino.
KEY TRACKS Me, Myself and Wine; Nowhere To Go