The Weakerthans
Reconstruction Site


5.0
classic

Review

by Eric USER (161 Reviews)
January 9th, 2011 | 275 replies | 22,561 views


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: He thought about how everyone dies someday, and when tomorrow gets here where will yesterday be, and fell asleep in his brand-new winter coat

14 of 15 thought this review was well written

I imagine that life becomes much more real when the threat of inevitable death is looming. We handily brush away thoughts of mortality in the best times, don’t we? Yet, when confronted with death jeopardizing people we love and notions we’ve become accustomed to, a sudden urge to communicate better, to sleep less and do more, and to pack as much emotion and meaning into the tiniest spaces possible kicks in. The Weakerthans’ Reconstruction Site is a dually tragic and fascinating story fueled by this notion. Samson’s already-expert lyricism and wittiness is magnified by this looming impression of death and of how to cope with it, catapulting Reconstruction Site towards perfection.

Reconstruction Site is the process of flushing out your mind due to confronting the worst head-on, and consequently struggling to fill it up with new material that doesn’t remind of your trials. Despite highbrow references to philosophers and artists alike (not simply your PH101 fare, but rather the more obscure likes of Derrida, Foucault, James Agee and Martin Amis) Samson still somehow achieves a level of intimacy even though the references are likely lost among the masses. Samson (or simply “John K.” the name with which adoring fans have adorned him) crafts a new name for everything, using humor and socio-political observations to complement the fairly conventional (yet fitting), subtle indie tunage. He even has the chutzpah to write a song from the perspective of his feline that details Samson’s despondence (“Plea From a Cat Named Virtute”). Lying somewhere between folk, indie, and a cinch of leftover Propagandhi-esque attitude, Reconstruction Site’s sonic nature matches its lyrical nature in that Samson struggles to pack as much intimate emotion, hooks, and the most magical one-liners you’ll ever hear into little space. He doesn’t try though, he does-- and in effect, Reconstruction Site succeeds on every level. In-between Samson’s poignancy about the unavoidable finality of death are flourishes of horns, acoustic finger-picking to die for, and tight, emotive drumming that pulls together the entirety. Less is more, as Samson knows well. Reconstruction Site flows not by making grand statements and crowding instruments but by simple phrasing and preciseness that belies the seriousness of the subject, much like the quirks that make the album so endearing. From the self-aggrandizing, to the eye-rolling and affectionate, Samson packs bundles of warmth and affectation into this masterpiece, knitting the lyrical perfection tightly among the fitting instrumentals. Much in the manner one might confront death, Reconstruction Site is altogether both extraordinarily real in its attempts to reveal reconstructing life in the face of death while remaining down-to-earth with Samson’s sharpened wit and perceptive reflections.

The drunken liturgies of Reconstruction Site wobble warily on the precipices of pretension and jocularity, but never commit to either, instead settling in an area all the more realistic. Reconstruction Site, as pleasing or fulfilling as it may be, could never cheat death or avoid the inevitable; but, Samson proves that with lyrical expertise and the astounding ability to construct insightful phrases with relatable diction that he’s created a piece of art that can help us cope with the tragic.



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user ratings (278)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
robin EMERITUS (5)
I MUST SAY THAT IN THE RIGHT LIGHT YOU LOOK LIKE SHACKLETON [steps into the light]...

Walt (5)
If I met John K. Samson......

beeeeeeees (5)
A thoughtful album....

Zesty Mordant (4.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
robin
Emeritus
January 9th 2011



4222 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i loooove you. that second paragraph.

SeaAnemone
January 9th 2011



18823 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Have had the combination of a desire to write lately and the time to do it (oddly enough) but I've been at a loss as
to what to write about so why not write about The Weakerthans, right? EDIT: and thanks Robin : )

Gyromania
January 9th 2011



14653 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review, but I'm still not sold.

kanecooper
January 9th 2011



630 Comments


i think i am overly aware of my mortality, i can't remember the last full day that went by without some lingering thought of 'something's not right, i havent got much longer'

which seems ridiculous




also good review, the weakerthans rule

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 9th 2011



17914 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

greatest band in the world

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2011



7237 Comments


Good review, I need to listen to this band properly at some point.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 9th 2011



7011 Comments


Solid and thorough, pos.

Digging: Pixies - Indie Cindy

thebhoy
Emeritus
January 9th 2011



4459 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Jacques fucking Derrida

EVedder27
January 9th 2011



6088 Comments


Excellent review eric. It's only a matter of time until the large tuna shows up

SeaAnemone
January 9th 2011



18823 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks guys,

and haha I'm waiting anxiously mallen

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2011



8958 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Music about literary theory> literary theory

Digging: Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

Spec
January 9th 2011



26836 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

PPPOOOOSSSS

SeaAnemone
January 9th 2011



18823 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i need a shiny new machine that runs on lies and gasoline and all those batteries we stole from smoke alarms that disassembles my despair it never took me anywhere it never once bought me a drink

couldwinarabbit
January 9th 2011



6996 Comments


...pretty awesome on first listen.

Romulus
January 9th 2011



8373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awesome album/review

AggravatedYeti
January 9th 2011



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fucking love this album.

Reconstruction Site flows not by making grand statements and crowding instruments but by simple phrasing and preciseness that belies the seriousness of the subject

couldn't agree more eric.

tom79
January 9th 2011



3347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

love this band, album

Digging: Bent Outta Shape - Stray Dog Town

JesusChris
January 9th 2011



673 Comments


Left and Leaving is my favorite from the Weakerthans. This is a close second. Such a phenomenal live band.

TheStefan
January 9th 2011



1003 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

holy shit bro. solid review. this album rules

SeaAnemone
January 9th 2011



18823 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm hoping many of you have heard last year's live album then? : )



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