Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, Pop
On his major-label debut, Martin Sexton employs major-label producer Danny Kortchmar (Don Henley, James Taylor) to assemble a 12-track collection, comprised of new material and rerecorded tunes lifted from his self-produce... more »
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On his major-label debut, Martin Sexton employs major-label producer Danny Kortchmar (Don Henley, James Taylor) to assemble a 12-track collection, comprised of new material and rerecorded tunes lifted from his self-produced demo, In the Journey, and indie release, Black Sheep. Layered guitar-and-vocal tracks add texture, but the extra knob turning and keypunching robs The American of the raw energy that made Sexton's earlier recordings so compelling. His talents are most pronounced when he is the primary attraction, and the more complex production found here forces him to compete with his backing tracks for attention. All is not lost, however. The songwriting remains strong on tracks such as "Glory Bound" (a narrative of life on the road in search of success) and "Love Keep Us Together" (a promise to the son Sexton fathered out of wedlock at age 19). There are also moments where his vocals are powerful enough to lift his songs higher. "Diggin' Me" finds Sexton exploring his dynamic range with a scat breakdown session, and "The Way I Am" allows him to show off some soulful yodeling. --Jason Pascal
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Mr. Sexton makes concessions, but has not lost his soul...
matt | New York City | 05/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you've listened to either of Martin Sexton's previous releases, a first listen to 'The American' might just get you a little bent out of shape... Sure, "Glory Bound" and "Love Keep Us Together" are a touch over-produced, but that's what the listening public is used to, so that's what you get with a major label...but Sexton brings it back down to earth with the title track's cool and idiosyncratic vibe. Martin Sexton is an artist that cannot be pigeon-holed and 'The American' is just further testimony to that fact. From blues-inspired folk ballads like "Where it Begins" to jazzy surprises like "Diggin' Me," this album is first rate. Besides, anyone who's ever seen Martin Sexton live knows full well that there's no real way to capture the essence of this extraordinary artist. Martin Sexton is going to be a star of tremendous proportions one day...I just hope I can still get tickets."
Jonathan Burrage | Victoria, B.C Canada | 10/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was turned on to M Sexton by a friend in the Caribbean. Once I began listening to the CD repeatedly, I was struck by the artists skill and vocal range. In one song sounding like a clarinet and trumpet, singing falsetto, and then yodeling! I think it is a strong CD as the style varies considerably. It is not 10 repeating and similar songs. I look forward to hearing some of his older and less produced work. It takes a strong effort to keep my attention for the length of time that 'The American' has. For the last few months it is THE ONLY CD that I listen to for the most part. Perhaps the next CD will have me riveted for another few months!"
Soulful songs get lost in a sea of production
Leonie | 08/27/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard Glory Bound on WFUV (Fordham University Radio in NYC) and said "I have to find this disc!!" One listen to Black Sheep and I was hooked. The emotion, musicality and simplicity of the music blew me away. Since that time I have seen Martin live in Central Park (Summer Stage with John Hiatt) and in Boston and was never disappointed. My wife (who was new to Martin) was in Boston and was amazed that one guy and his guitar (plus a drummer for maybe 20% of the songs) could keep the whole place "so into it." If you haven't seen him live, you must go when he is in your area. He played an extended version of "Gypsy Woman" in Boston that needs to be recorded, it was so killer. I was greatly anticipating the release of The Amercian and was greatly disappointed. The production simply suffocates the music. Don't get me wrong, its not bad or anything. It's just not great and believe me, these are great songs. So, I sincerely hope they loose the production for the next album (Live ???). Thanks Marty for the music."