Massachusetts based singer songwriter Martin Sexton makes a beguiling sound. Sugarcoating is an album of contrasting styles that is all held together by some fantastic musicianship and Sexton's distinctive vocals. If you want to grab someones attention then the beautiful sounding Found is a perfect choice as an album opener. The sweeping grandeur of the chorus sits perfectly with the sparseness of the verse and brings to mind a young Martin Stephenson and the Daintees circa Boat To Bolivia, especially in Sexton's voice.
Always Got Away is a song of real beauty, the kind of song that Jackson Browne excels at, complete with choral backing to lift it to a different level. This is seriously good music. Just when you think you have got the measure of Sexton, he turns the tempo funky with the blue eyed jazz soul of Livin The Life, Boom Sh-Boom and Easy On The Eyes and shows that he is a musical chameleon who is hard to pigeon hole. On an album of this quality it takes something special to really stand out and in Shane Sexton has crafted a masterpiece of lyrical and musical integrity that is breathtaking. Friends Again comes close to matching Shane in its sheer majesty and is a timeless piece of music.
This is an album that throws out something new with every listen and I'm ashamed to say, given the size of Sexton's back catalogue, that this is my first encounter with his music but I look forward to getting acquainted with it. All of it.