Style: Laid-back pop/rock; compare to Weakerthans, Mountain Goats, Death Cab for Cutie

Top tracks: "Grace Central," "When I Write My Master's Thesis," "Heart of the Continent"

Weakerthans frontman John K. Samson is one of our smartest, most literate songwriters; leave it to him to pen a tune called "When I Write My Master's Thesis." On this solo album, every song references a landmark in the singer's beloved Canada. It's more lo-fi than any Weakerthans release, but sparks still fly as Samson tells evocative stories through small details. He surveys vending machines and gift shop items and renders them into a wrenching account of a hospital waiting room; in "Thesis," he tells of a slacker's dilemma by contrasting library research with Grand Theft Auto; he even co-opts the melody to "O Sacred Head Now Wounded" in one song, to surprisingly elegant effect.

Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
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Release Date
January 24, 2012
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