11 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

One of the reining purveyors of literate, indie pop, Weakerthans frontman John Samson takes the band back out for a spin, traveling through a familiar love-torn landscape full of character studies and self-examination.  Falling musically somewhere between They Might Be Giants and later, radio-friendly Replacements, The Weakerthans prove here that they’re committed to the pop direction they’ve chosen, without diminishing their output to a diluted run-off. There’s plenty of depth (“Civil Twilight,” “Sun in an Empty Room,” “Night Windows”), obtuse beauty (“Virtue the Cat Explains her Departure,” “Bigfoot”) and offbeat humor (“Elegy for Gump Worsley”) to satisfy all appetites.  “Relative Surplus Value” has some real teeth, with gnawing guitars and snapping drums, and “Bigfoot!” and “Utilities” surprise with delicate construction and simplicity. Samson’s literary bent leaves images embedded in the listener’s mind; how can a phrase like “we don’t live here anymore” feel so loaded? And haven’t we all felt, at times, like “the heart is a badly built bridge,” but never found the words? Musicians who have spent any time on tour will appreciate the sentiments of the title track, with Samson recalling “the shiny food we found with gasoline” and other delights of the road, carried along on a military-march drum beat and an airy, Theremin-like wave of sound.  An album full of cinematic and poetic possibility, Reunion Tour invites the listener to hitch a ride and come along, pot holes and all.

EDITORS’ NOTES

One of the reining purveyors of literate, indie pop, Weakerthans frontman John Samson takes the band back out for a spin, traveling through a familiar love-torn landscape full of character studies and self-examination.  Falling musically somewhere between They Might Be Giants and later, radio-friendly Replacements, The Weakerthans prove here that they’re committed to the pop direction they’ve chosen, without diminishing their output to a diluted run-off. There’s plenty of depth (“Civil Twilight,” “Sun in an Empty Room,” “Night Windows”), obtuse beauty (“Virtue the Cat Explains her Departure,” “Bigfoot”) and offbeat humor (“Elegy for Gump Worsley”) to satisfy all appetites.  “Relative Surplus Value” has some real teeth, with gnawing guitars and snapping drums, and “Bigfoot!” and “Utilities” surprise with delicate construction and simplicity. Samson’s literary bent leaves images embedded in the listener’s mind; how can a phrase like “we don’t live here anymore” feel so loaded? And haven’t we all felt, at times, like “the heart is a badly built bridge,” but never found the words? Musicians who have spent any time on tour will appreciate the sentiments of the title track, with Samson recalling “the shiny food we found with gasoline” and other delights of the road, carried along on a military-march drum beat and an airy, Theremin-like wave of sound.  An album full of cinematic and poetic possibility, Reunion Tour invites the listener to hitch a ride and come along, pot holes and all.

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