• Record Label: Epitaph
  • Release Date: Aug 26, 2003
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 2 out of 22

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  1. PatW
    Oct 27, 2006
    10
    This band is the best thing Canada has ever done.
  2. AmitS
    Jun 20, 2007
    10
    Easily one of the bands from the past decade - intelligent and technically competent without any bombast or unnecessary flourishes. And this is their finest effort.
  3. JasonS
    Oct 27, 2003
    10
    By far the best thing that has come out of Winnipeg (music wise). I have been following the band since they started . . . I was even at the first show (They opened for the Offspring).
  4. MichaelH
    Oct 5, 2009
    9
    Pitchfork sucks, this album does not.
  5. robyna
    Nov 26, 2004
    10
    This is probably my favorite band of all time. Their first two CDs were nothing short of amazing and this one definitely wasn't a letdown.
  6. BMac
    Jan 30, 2004
    10
    Very simply, the most extraordinary small CD from a small group.
  7. R.
    Mar 9, 2008
    7
    While there are some great tunes on this cd; especially "Elks Lodge" and "Plea from a Cat Named Virtute," I prefer the "Left & Leaving" and "Reunion Tour" cd's. "Left & Leaving" should be included on most top ten lists, for 2000 and overall; its easily a 10+.
  8. ChrisH.
    Jun 4, 2008
    10
    Don't know if you could find another album with such solid lyrics and music, except maybe Left and Leaving.
  9. NikkiN
    Oct 2, 2003
    10
    Listen to it. Learn it. Love it.
  10. MichaelP
    Apr 12, 2004
    10
    This album is a triumph. I'm glad it exists.
  11. jack
    Feb 20, 2005
    9
    Wow.....This was the revelation of 2004 for me - a record as amazing as it is underrated, by a band I'd never heard of before. I didn't love it at first, but it got better with every listening. Sure, the lyrics are smart, but not self-consciously smart; they're also touching and funny. Last night, I walked into a record store wth the new Clem Snide cd playing; for a moment, Wow.....This was the revelation of 2004 for me - a record as amazing as it is underrated, by a band I'd never heard of before. I didn't love it at first, but it got better with every listening. Sure, the lyrics are smart, but not self-consciously smart; they're also touching and funny. Last night, I walked into a record store wth the new Clem Snide cd playing; for a moment, I thought it was an earlier, less charming cd by Weakerthans....I'm sure the Weakerthans will give us something stronger in 2005. Expand
  12. tawnye
    Apr 17, 2005
    10
    the entire album is gold.. every song did it for me
  13. TheBC
    Jul 8, 2006
    10
    The best band you've never heard.
  14. DanK
    Oct 19, 2003
    10
    This album is simply amazing!
  15. Markk
    Nov 2, 2005
    10
    It rules.
  16. MarcL
    Jul 18, 2006
    10
    Quite simply the perfect album. Catchy music, lyrical genius, no egotistical tirades
  17. Oct 15, 2010
    10
    This is, in my opinion, one of the best evaluations of grief and loss in any form of media; it's easily the best album I've ever heard to grapple with the idea. Nothing I've heard or seen, and very little I've read, has come even close to capturing the spectrum of emotions and states that accompany the process of loss and mourning, from awaiting the inevitable to grim reflection, and theThis is, in my opinion, one of the best evaluations of grief and loss in any form of media; it's easily the best album I've ever heard to grapple with the idea. Nothing I've heard or seen, and very little I've read, has come even close to capturing the spectrum of emotions and states that accompany the process of loss and mourning, from awaiting the inevitable to grim reflection, and the cacophony of emotions in between. Even during the album's upbeat beginnings, you can can visualize the grimace behind Samson's voice as he sings about how, "I'm so glad that you exist" on "The Reasons"; the relentless ennui and depression that permeates throughout "Plea from a cat named virtue"; the desperate attempts to re-enter back into normalcy on "Our Retired Explorer"; the passive introspection on "A New Name for Everything"; the sheer desperation and agony of "Benediction" (the album's highest point); everything is agonizingly perfect in capturing the whole spectrum of the experience. Yet, in spite of how depressing this album's theme may seem, its so brilliantly crafted that it's not an album only to break out on rainy days and at wakes; some of these songs are almost criminally catchy ("The Reasons" "Our Retired Explorer"), and the album speaks just as much to the lasting joy of memory as it does to the sorrow of immediate loss. Indeed, as heartbreaking an album as "Reconstruction Site" may be, it doesn't end leaving you an emotional mess; in fact, it makes everything feel a little bit better, strangely.

    TL;DR: This is one of the best albums ever made. If you haven't listened to it yet, stop what you're doing and get it. (Standout tracks: Everything! What, not particular enough? Ok, fine, "Reconstruction Site", "Plea from a Cat Named Virtute", "Our Retired Explorer (Dines with Michael Focault in Paris, 1961)", "A New Name For Everything", "One Great City", "Benediction")
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Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Musically, Reconstruction Site has more in common with literate indie types like Clem Snide or even the mature, clear-eyed work of Michael Penn.
  2. Magnet
    80
    A catchy rock record steeped in intelligent social and personal commentary that incorporates pedal and lap steel with great cowpunk results. [#60, p.119]
  3. Throughout it's fourteen tracks, there's no doubting The Weakerthans are smart guys who keep up with literature and politics, but over the course of an entire album the band's ambitious literary posturing drowns in the bland songwriting and lack of captivating hooks.