John K. Samson
City Route 85


3.5
great

Review

by Kiran EMERITUS
March 15th, 2010 | 21 replies | 6,473 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist


John K. Samson is such a tease. Ever since he left perpetually disgruntled punk figureheads Propagandhi for considerably less loud musical endeavours, all the way back in 1997, we’ve only seen 4 releases from the soft-spoken hyper-literates we’ve come to know and love as The Weakerthans. City Route 85 comes two years after the release of Reunion Tour and while it may not be enough to tide fans over until a new Weakerthans release, it's certainly a reminder to those whose attentions began to wander.

Anyone familiar with his bands material may be aware of one of the most important motifs of his work: his home. “I hate Winnipeg!”, he declared in “One Great City!” off the superb Reconstruction Site, and in the way he never meant a word of it, he effectively summed up the love-hate relationship he shared with the city he grew up in; one that always weighed a little heavier towards appreciation than distaste. City Route 85 is the first of a set of EPs designated specifically to tackle the blueprint of his hometown through the eyes of those who dwell in it, purveyed by his words and his acoustic guitar.

“Heart of the Continent” struggles to cope with the decay of a place once full of life, “Grace General” pours its heart out into the darkened streets it roams, and “Cruise Night” drives just to be free for a brief moment in time and it all goes to remind us why Samson is one of the finest storytellers currently in work: he’s a man who never seems to run out of words. City Route 85 is no lower than his usual standard; his distinctive upper-register voice is especially characterized by the descriptive lyrics he’s made his name with and as his voice dips subtly while he sings, “And our demolitions punctuate / all we mean to say, then leave too late” he explains everything that pains him about seeing his city torn down. If only for ten minutes, it’s good to be reacquainted with an old friend.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Kiran
Emeritus
March 15th 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i love you john samson

Digging: Spoon - They Want My Soul

SeaAnemone
March 15th 2010



19979 Comments


so weird you just posted this... I just posted a very intricate and literate soundoff about this guy.

Digging: Natural Snow Buildings - The Night Country

Ponton
Emeritus
March 15th 2010



5790 Comments


not many things are better than reading a kirg review

Kiran
Emeritus
March 15th 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

seaanemone i am gonna buy that live DVD the day it comes out

and thanks jared, your praise only feeds my ego

Ponton
Emeritus
March 15th 2010



5790 Comments


just boosting egos here and there as I go about



Kiran
Emeritus
March 15th 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

btw this release date should be 09, not 2010, i should probably change that

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2010



17920 Comments


just found out about the dvd today, words cannot express

AggravatedYeti
March 15th 2010



7684 Comments


not many things are better than reading a kirg review


except maybe reading two Kir(g) reviews!!

also Dr. this bitch, it sounds really sweet.


YouAreMySilence
March 15th 2010



3727 Comments


One of the best lyricists of all time, js.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2010



17920 Comments


best lyricist from best band basically

thebhoy
Emeritus
March 15th 2010



4459 Comments


what, I did not know this existed. John K. Samson is the best thing since sliced bread.

joshuatree
Emeritus
March 15th 2010



3743 Comments


read the word weakerthans then jizzed everywhere

Kiran
Emeritus
March 16th 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

best lyricist from best band basically

yes

also yeti, i just scanned your ratings and there are no weakerthans albums?! what is the meaning of this

AggravatedYeti
March 16th 2010



7684 Comments


dude, sorry, sometimes there is a such a thing as too much Canada. :P

I have 'Reconstruction Site' tho, its in the que, and I'm very excited.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2010



17920 Comments


if you don't love them you're gay js

AggravatedYeti
March 16th 2010



7684 Comments


if you don't love them you're gay js

shitshitshitshitshitshitshit.


Kiran
Emeritus
March 16th 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

gay yetis, whats next, pirate squids?!

AggravatedYeti
March 16th 2010



7684 Comments


oh I see what you did there!

robin
Emeritus
March 17th 2010



4248 Comments


i'm so glad that he exists

tom79
March 17th 2010



3365 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review, John K. Samson is easily one of my favourite songwriters ever. I don't have this but I saw him open for the Constantines in December and he played these along with some Weakerthans tunes. You should really check out his EP Little Pictures, it's fantastic. I'll be downloading this soon.

Digging: Rainer Maria - Look Now Look Again



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