Sugarcoated, Martin Sexton's seventh studio album, marks the Boston-based singer's transformation from blue-eyed-soul-searching troubadour to full-blown star of the smooth R&B croon and groove scene. John Mayer says he's a fan; John Mayer also knows a threat to the adult contemporary throne when he hears one. Sexton has come by success slowly, principally on the power of his voice, one of the most remarkable instruments in American popular music. Fulsome as Van Morrison, sexy as Prince and as swinging as Billy Eckstine, Sexton doesn't need great material — and Sugarcoated offers none. But with such vocal chops and some subtle guitar flash to boot, Sexton could sing the ingredients to a box of Milk Duds and make Simon Cowell cream.
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