Ron Sexsmith

Imagine yourself in this scenario: you are in a van driving to the mountains. Also populating this van are your parents, your two grade-school aged cousins and, just to make things interesting, your grandparents. Naturally, the piercing shrieks of the children are causing you to spiral ever closer to insanity and no comfort can be found in the elders idle talk about auto insurance rates.

What you need is some music, but there is a problem–a big problem.

You need something that a) isn’t too risque for the children, b) isn’t too hard for the grandparents, c) isn’t filled with subtle innuendos the parents can decipher and d) doesn’t completely suck.

Enter Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith and his new collection of odds and ends, Rarities.

As usual, Sexsmith delivers a decent album filled with sometimes engaging, sometimes boring, sometimes witty and sometimes corny songs. There are definite highlights, such as the piano-driven duet with Coldplay’s Chris Martin “Gold in Them Hills” and, as with any Sexsmith album, a few groaners like the dopey love ballad “Before We Ever Met.”

Rarities is at its best when you aren’t particularly paying attention to it. Sexsmith succeeds at making a near perfect album to study to or to get you through a long car ride where music that no one can take offence to in any way is required.

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