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John K. Samson - City Route 85 [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)

John K. Samson

John K. Samson: City Route 85 [7 inch]City Route 85 [7 inch] (2009)
Anti- Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
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Contributed by: crackpotdemagoguecrackpotdemagogue
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The last time John K. Samson released a solo record, the Weakerthans were only a glint in his eye -- the former Propagandhi bassist was still very much finding his feet as a songwriter when Little Pictures was released in 1995. But as the best songs on Little Pictures -- such as "Saint Cecelia" -- .


The last time John K. Samson released a solo record, the Weakerthans were only a glint in his eye -- the former Propagandhi bassist was still very much finding his feet as a songwriter when Little Pictures was released in 1995. But as the best songs on Little Pictures -- such as "Saint Cecelia" -- now serve to illustrate, Samson was, during this period, beginning to discover and develop a talent that would eventually merit him the title of â??award-winning songwriter.'

City Route 85, the first in what is set to be a series of new Samson solo releases chronicling the roads and highways of Manitoba, is a three-song effort that proves exactly why Samson has won awards, as the creases in his songwriting have long since been ironed out in the 14 long years since Little Pictures saw the light of day.

As has become a given with Samson, the lyrics are at all times eloquent, beautiful and, at times, moving: "As I stand before an unresponsive automatic door, / just another door that won't open for me anymore" he sings on "Heart of the Continent."

The songs themselves, like all good songs, are relatively simple. The instrumentation is sparse, and except for the presence of a drum machine on "Cruise Night," each track is entirely acoustic, complemented only by Samson's vocals.

What is perhaps most notable about City Route 85, though, is the degree to which it showcases how far Samson has come since the days of Little Pictures. After the first listen, you are left in no doubt; here is a man who is now a champion of his craft -- and he is never looking back.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
iconoclast (January 18, 2010)

hands down one of the best song writers out there.

wallrock (January 14, 2010)

Dude can write a song, that's for sure.

shitsfucked (January 13, 2010)

thumbs up

TahoeJeff (January 13, 2010)

Nothing says excitement better than songs about remote canadian roads.

Bunk_Moreland (January 12, 2010)

Boring. Needs more double-kick, how we roll down B-more.

kylewagoner (January 12, 2010)

Totally awesome release. I might like his solo stuff more than recent Weakerthans.

telegraphrocks (January 12, 2010)

14theroad got it right... this is fucking snooze-ville.

kidgotham (January 12, 2010)

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

When you wake up from your sleep, you should check this 7" out. It is really good.

14theroad (January 12, 2010)

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

kidgotham (January 12, 2010)

I am sure most comments will say something along the lines of "this should be a new Weakerthans" album, but for what it is, the concept and the delivery is great. I am really looking forward the next release, which is going to be about roads in a more remote part of Manitoba.

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