The Weakerthans Reconstruction Site
Grade
A
 
Also Try
New Pornographers

Wow, I really grew fond of this album. The Weakerthans isn't the kind of music I usually listen to, but I am glad I gave it a chance and if you do as well, you wont be disappointed. I can't really describe it, but there is just something about this album that makes you love it. For starters, front man John Samson has almost completely switched genres from his former band Propagandhi. If you bought a Propagandhi album you usually got powerful songs that were generally fast, not to mention it was pretty straight up punk music. Then you get this album and it's almost a 180° from his previous work. It's melodic and catchy and although there are punk elements its pretty far away from being considered a punk album in all retrospect. The Weakerthans, at least in my own opinion, created one hell of an album and a surprise to all who bought it.

The music's genre is quite hard to explain but if I had a gun to my head and had to (ok, OK, maybe a bit too dramatic there) I would say: folk, alt-country, pop, and maybe a hint of punk. I know you're thinking how do all those genres fit together and if so, how in the world does it sound like music. Well, they pulled off and it sounds so effortless at that. I have mentioned this in several reviews and this is a perfect example, the album just flows. From one track onto the next, its seamless. The music is relaxing and melodic and suits the lyrics very well. My first listen through the album was a joy and it seemed to improve each time, a very clever album.

The biggest thing that impressed me about this album was the lyrics. They are phenomenal to say the least. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised considering Samson had a small publishing business for a while. The lyrics seemed to be very emotional and sincere, from the depths of his heart. His tone in many songs often expresses a sense of vulnerability. The album really revolves around the lyrics, that is your focus when listening to it. Because it seems like often artists have complicated intense music that is well, distracting sometimes, maybe they do that intentionally. But not The Weakerthans, the music is simple yet enjoyable while you listen and experience the almost poetic lyrics. The album is actually quite poetic, and that's why you must buy it, those quirky lyrics will make you fall in love with it. I would recommend checking out One Great City! and Our Retired Explorer off the album. Both are quite different and would give you a great taste of what they sound like and basically summing up what I have been describing.

I'll be honest; I got this as a gift from girlfriend and questioned it a bit. Originally I was turned off by slower music and (at the time) almost dull sounding singing. But after listening to a few songs it really started to grow on me. I realized Samson wasn't trying to make a Propagandhi clone, rather something that came from him. This has really become one of my favorite albums of the year, slowly but surely. I really could see a fan of any genre listening to this and falling in love with it. This album was a new and welcomed experience for me.

- - missionhockey

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