Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Album Review: John K. Samson - Provincial

Album Rating: B
John K. Samson is no stranger to the music world, after all for years he's been a part of a little band called The Weakerthans...maybe you've heard of them?  Oh, and not to mention playing for Propagandhi during the 1990's.  Yes Samson certainly has had his fair share of time in the music business, but rarely has he displayed his prowess as a solo artist.  Sure he's been threatening it with a few releases here and there, but it hasn't been until now that we've been treated to a true full length album.

Enter Provincial, John K. Samson's take on the earthy folk displayed with his main band, taken to the extreme.  More important than how it sounds, however, is how it feels.  It's not often that we as listeners can observe the subtle emotions of the artist, but Provincial does a great job at creating an emotive piece of music whose atmosphere is unique to Samson.  This is where the album excels; a beautiful and touching work that reaches the listener via multiple layers.  Instant gratification is here, don't worry, but how much you put into the album is equal to what you'll get back.  On its surface is a nice folk record, but underneath is something much more absorbing and evocative.

And while it's great to hear such a personal work, Samson doesn't tear down conventions with his album.  Provincial is a straight up predictable modern folk record; acoustic guitar and croons present in every track.  That being said, songs "Letters in Icelandic from the Ninette San" and "Grace General" are so well done that its derivative nature won't faze even the most jaded of listeners.  Samson knows how to construct a song, and he knows how to do it damn well.

Provincial, for those who have been waiting for John K. Samson to finally release an album indicative of his talents, will prove to be wonderful listen.  Samson adds an indelible amount of personality into his record that puts it largely above his contemporaries, with emotions that seem genuine rather than contrived.  Provincial is a great listen from start to finish, and a true showcase of a talent that's been evident for years.


Track List:
1. Highway 1 East
2. Heart of the Continent
3. Cruise Night
4. Grace General
5. When I Write My Master’s Thesis
6. Letter in Icelandic from the Ninette San
7. Longitudinal Centre
9. The Last And
10. Stop Error
11. Highway 1 West
12. Taps Reversed

No comments:

Post a Comment