Ron Sexsmith
Cobblestone Runway
(Nettwerk 30284)

The best living songwriter in the world releases another album that won't sell 10,000 copies. The world's loss. And so unfair. Ron Sexsmith eats macaroni and cheese while everyone sits around listening to shit like David Gray.

Cobblestone Runway is a typically graceful, tender collection of songs with melodies leaking like diarrhea and lyrics that feel you up from behind quite unexpectedly. Which was as ungraceful a way to communicate Ron Sexsmith's genius as I probably could have come up with, but there it is. They're not paying me enough to write poetry.

As with all of his albums, this one is solid straight through, with some songs that really stick and others that don't particularly. The ones that do make you wonder why this dude is not being celebrated as the Willie Nelson, Paul Williams, Billy Strayhorn, and Paul McCartney of our time. "Former Glory," "Disappearing Act," and "Least That I Can Do" ought to be standards; "God Loves Everyone" outdoes "What a Wonderful World" in both lyrical and melodic content as well as sincerity. Who else could write a song this optimistic and wise?

The disc takes a couple of weird turns, such as the Cher-disco of "Dragonfly on Bay Street," but is consistently rewarding listen after listen. Ultimately Ron Sexsmith may be forced to record exclusively for Starbucks Records just to keep his art afloat, but fifty years from now, these albums will be cherished. This one's no exception; one's as good as the next.

Review by Corgi Duplo