Album Review: Ron Sexsmith - The Vivian Line
The Vivian Line is the 17th studio album from Ron Sexsmith, one of the greatest singer-songwriters of modern times. Ron is a musician who has consistently given the world melodies that will outlive us all. Lyrics and uplifting pop tunes that deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach. That said, although he has the love and respect amongst musicians, there are still so many people in the world who have not had their lives improved by sitting down with a Ron Sexsmith album. If for some reason you are one of those people who have yet to discover Ron it is never too late, and The Vivian Line would be a great place to start.
The album opens with a lyric to shine positivity during these dark times for the world. A lyric to give us all hope and remind us that there is still love to be found in this divided world “Somewhere in the darkest night / There’s a place called love”. This lyric played out over a very gentle and soothing melody will instantly grab your attention and you will soon be lost within the gorgeous sounds that fill A Place Called Love the perfect opening song for this wonderful album. What I Had in Mind sees Ron reflecting back to his schooldays, how he
found it hard to concentrate, did not always understand the reasons on why schools teach what they do and how he was a dreamer and longed for summer days. “Oh how I fell behind / For dreams and schemes / And visions of summertime / It was what I had in mind”.
Flower Boxes is such a comforting song that deals with grief and how people live on through things they have created, what they have said, and memories they have left behind. “For the living must go on / Even though you’re gone / Your soul remains / In these flower boxes”. Outdated and Antiquated is another moment of honest self-reflection from Ron who finds himself questioning where he fits in with the modern world. This is a song that will be sure to put a smile on your face and there will be lyrics in here that you can relate to. I love the lyrics “Every newfangled trend / Can’t seem to go with the flow / It just doesn’t make sense / I don’t fit in” and “They’re all on their phones / While I write poems instead”. Ron you are an example that many should look up to. The world would be a much better place if everyone got off their phones and wrote poems instead.
Every song on this album is quite simply wonderful and you would be foolish not to dive in and give up your time to enhance your life through these majestic sounds. A few more highlights amongst a treasure trove of diamonds include One Bird Calling a sweet song about life after a storm. How the morning can be so gentle and beautiful. It’s about appreciating
the everyday, the beautiful sound of a bird singing and how lucky we are to be alive and have a roof over our heads. A Barn Conversion is a cheerful song featuring the sound of farmyard animals that will be sure to lift your spirits, the piano part ensures the song will become firmly embedded within your soul. When Our Love Was New is as good as song writing gets. This is one of those songs that will leave an instant impression on your life, it is one that will fall in love with, one that you will want to share with your nearest and dearest and one of those songs that you will return to for the rest of your days. This is such a wonderful song that looks back on those early days of falling on love and captures those feelings in such a charming and elegant way “When our love was born / And a new life was beginning / Our kisses, they were warm / Our eyes, how they’d glisten”.
For over 35 years Ron Sexsmith has been writing songs as a sole songwriter, that is worthy of note as there are not as many songs in modern times that have a single writer, there are many partnerships and co-writers. Ron has made a conscious decision to write songs on his own, it is a dying art and Ron is certainly flying the flag high for songwriters. I urge all of you to listen to The Vivian Line, go through his extensive back catalogue and I give you my word you will love what you hear and you never know you might find yourself inspired to write a poem or a song of your own.
Buy your copy of The Vivian Line:
Ron will also be playing the Nantwich Roots Festival on 17th May 2023, you can get tickets (with no booking fee!) here: