The Sextones: Love Can’t Be Borrowed [Album Review]

The Sextones
Love Can’t Be Borrowed
Record Kicks [2023]

Produced by Kelly Finnigan of The Monophonics, Love Can’t Be Borrowed is the sophomore album by The Sextones. The record charts a soulful path that’s sure to captivate fans, both old and new. This Reno, Nevada-based band, comprised of Mark Sexton (guitar, vocals), Alexander Korostinsky (bass), Daniel Weiss (drums), and Christopher Sexton (piano), pushes the boundaries of modern soul music with its blend of vintage aesthetics and contemporary vibes. This album stands as a testament to the band’s growth and evolving sound.

From the very first track, “Daydreaming,” The Sextones set your listening path with a swaying opening run on the vibraphone keys that instantly grabs your attention. The impeccable production quality shines through, creating a lush instrumental landscape that envelops the listener. Then, you add in the harmonies backing frontman and guitarist Mark Sexton’s soaring falsetto, and you’ve cooked up a hot soul record. His emotive and soulful voice is a standout element throughout the record. Sexton’s delivery is filled with passion and sincerity, and he effortlessly carries the weight of each song’s lyrical content. Other tracks like “The Other Side” and “This Could Last Forever” showcase his ability to convey raw emotion, while the band’s tight instrumentation provides the perfect backdrop for his vocals to shine.

One of the album’s highlights is “Beck & Call,” a slow-burning ballad that oozes sensuality and vulnerability. The combination of Sexton’s heartfelt vocals and the band’s skillful arrangement creates an unforgettable moment of intimacy within the album. The Sextones are known for their ability to fuse different musical elements, and “Love Can’t Be Borrowed” is no different. They seamlessly blend elements of funk, R&B, and even a bit of psychedelia, making it impossible to pigeonhole their sound into a single genre. Tracks like “Without You” and “Your Love Shines Golden” demonstrate their versatility, taking the listener on a sing-along sonic journey while still being both captivating and unpredictable.

“Getaway Driver” is another track that stands out. It encapsulates the essence of the entire record with its groovy bassline and the catchiest chorus among the ten songs. This soulful anthem explores themes of giving your all for someone you love and leaves a lasting impression as the final notes fade away. It perfectly captures the feel-good spirit of the record, reminiscent of late 60s and early 70s soul, especially with the consistent support of harmonizing background vocals. The Sextones have truly carved out a unique space here with the production by Finnigan, solidifying their position as a formidable presence in the modern soul music landscape.

“Daydreaming” / “Beck & Call” / “Getaway Driver”

The Delfonics / The Moments / The Monophonics

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Christopher Anthony
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