André Ethier Born of Blue Fog

André Ethier Born of Blue Fog
Some people are so loyal to their hometowns that they'll celebrate any record as long as it's local. In my opinion, familiarity can be a handicap. It's not that Toronto doesn't have a great music scene but when something is made in your backyard, it's harder to preserve the critical distance necessary for evaluation. I mention this only to underscore the following point: André Ethier's Born of Blue Fog is one of the best records I've heard in years, by anyone, from anywhere. Ethier has both the talent and the swagger of a true cult celebrity; he sings with authority and his songs are distinctive but completely sophisticated - not one note goes to waste. Though the word is overused, Born of Blue Fog fits most of the "classic" criteria; its approach is informed by the undeniable acts of yesteryear but it adds something new, which is neither gimmicky nor forgettable. This is a thoroughly enjoyable, self-contained work by a singer-songwriter who gets it, a rarity, to say the least. And I genuinely hope that audiences everywhere will get to hear it. (Blue Fog)