Ben Sures

Field Guide to Loneliness

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Canadian folk singer Ben Sures brings some simple but appealing songs to this album, although it's not reinventing any kind of singer/songwriter's wheel. The light and tender "Dancer" is a perfect example as the artist brings to mind the likes of Tom Brosseau and David Wilcox while "Used to Have a Raygun" resembles Tim Easton if he was a bit more polished and less ragged. Sures shuffles the styles up somewhat with the up-tempo, harmonica-driven "My Last Girlfriend" which is good but isn't the type of song to make you stand up and take notice. The quirky, Waits-tinged "Bachelors" fares better as the singer takes you down a dark, mysterious road. The same can be said for the somewhat jazzy "Not on the Town" featuring a duet with Little Miss Higgins. Another little nugget presented is the simple vignette "Til I Learned to Cook for You" which contains some pretty work on acoustic guitar. But Sures sounds the most sure of himself during the gorgeous "Winnipeg" with its Americana, alt country accents. As strong as that song is, the Latin-leaning "Under Water" is a failed lounge-y idea. Fortunately, he atones for this miscue with the rambling, troubadour toe-tapper "Squeezed out of the Sky" before closing with the lovely "Man on the Verge."

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