Rather than write an entire review gushing about my love for The Weakerthans or John K. Samson, I will just let his lyrics speak for themselves. As Craig Finn (an amazing lyricist in his own right) formerly of Lifter Puller and now of The Hold Steady recently stated in the Seattle rag, The Stranger, “John Samson from the Weakerthans—he is the lyricist that I can say, without hesitation, is better than I am.” And Mr. Finn would be correct.
- “Civil Twlight”
For the most part I think about golfing and constantly calculate all the seconds left in the minutes, and so on, etcetera. Or recite the names of provinces and Hollywood actors. Oh Ontario. Oh, Jennifer Jason Leigh.
- “Virtute the Cat Explains Her Departure” (Samson’s lyrics here are from a cat’s perspective towards his owner. This song follows up “Plea from a Cat Named Virtue” which appeared on 2003’s Reconstruction Site)
How I’d scratch the empties, desperate to hear you make the sound that you found for me. How after scrapping with the ferals and the tabby, I’d let you brush my matted fur. How I’d knead into your chest while you were sleeping. Shallow breathing made me purr. But now I can’t remember the sound that you found for me.
- “Tournament Of Hearts”
And my popcorn squeaks a question—wonders why I’m not at home, where you wait beside a silent telephone and doodle circles within circles, all alone. Have to stop myself from climbing on the table full of empties to yell, “Why? Why can’t I draw right up to what I want to say? Why can’t I ever stop where I want to stay? I slide right through the days. I’m always throwing hack weight.
- “Sun In An Empty Room”
The shins that we kick beneath the table, that reflexive cry. The faces we meet one awkward beat too long and terrify, know that the things we need to say have been said already anyway, by parallelograms of light on walls that we repainted white.
So take eight minutes and divide by ninety million lonely miles, and watch a shadow cross the floor. We don’t live here anymore.
- “Night Windows”
In the stick-count for the song of knowing you’re gone, glancing up at where you lived when you lived here, I see you, suddenly alive and nearly smiling. Stop and hold my breath and watch the way you used to be.
Got a face full of ominous weather. Smirking smile of a high pressure ridge. Got more faults than the state of California, and the heart is a badly built bridge. Seems the most I have to offer doesn’t offer much. Make it something somebody can use. Make this something somebody can use.
Reunion Tour continues the masterful work of The Weakerthans. John K. Samson continues to pen charming, poetic lyrics and the band once again provides a more than worthy backdrop. Detractors might say it is just more of the same from The Weakerthans. Whatever the case may be, at album #4, I still find myself madly in love with this band.