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Left & Leaving

4.9 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 1, 2000
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 1, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: July 25, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sub City Records
  • ASIN: B00004VVWS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,883 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I'm in love with this record and this band. This is punk rock for grown-ups. It's not jaded, but slightly weary. It's intelligent, political and romantic without being obtuse, preachy or sappy. It's simply beautiful. I'm constantly being asked to describe their sound (because I tend to talk about them a lot!) and I don't know how. I can not compare them with anyone else and they defy the usual genre lumping. When I first heard them I thought of the first time I heard the first Fugazi record in 1989. Not because The Weakerthans sound anything like Fugazi, but because the music they play is so original and honest, and made with such intelligence and heart. John K. Sampson's lyrics are amazingly poetic and touching. I've been lucky enough to see them live 3 times in the past few months (traveling as far as possible to do so!) and they're even better live!
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A Kid's Review on October 20, 2007
Format: Audio CD
For the record I absolutely abhor Amazon.com reviews. I mean, who takes the time to write a product review? Inevitably it is either fanboys (and girls) who love everything Band X craps out or the haters who, well, hate. Everything. As a result you get either 5 or 1 star reviews to perfectly mirror the lover/hater dichotomy.

A true review takes time. How many albums have you heard that you didn't like at first and then slowly grew on you until, what do you know, it's your favorite album of all time.

I first heard of the Weakerthans from a random on-line voice who decided that Left & Leaving was one of their best albums of the year. It was long enough ago that I have no idea what year it was. Soon after I was at my local record store (RIP Music Millenium NW)and I picked it up. I consider it one of my best decisions of the last decade.

This album doesn't just contain wonderful chord changes and lyrics. It contains emotion. It will make you feel something. To me that is the best thing that can be said about any piece of art.

Buy it. Enjoy it.
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Format: Audio CD
If there is a type of food called comfort food, I think there should be a new genre of music called comfort music. With the Weakerthans' combination of comfortable, relaxed harmonies and witty, original, thought-provoking lyrics, I often catch myself smiling halfway through a song. The lyrics especially are my favorite thing about this band; the fact that they can be so unique that so many of us can relate to them without knowing why, and being somehow completely devoid of cliche... Although I didn't notice the worth of some of the lyrics at first, sometimes it can just click. Often, these songs can bring new meaning each time I listen, and this band has the unique ability of bringing a smile to my face even when I'm in the worst mood imaginable. If you have never heard this band, I would suggest some of my favorites: "Aside", "This Is a Fire Door Never Leave Open", or "My Favorite Chords". I also would suggest "Reconstruction Site", which is a little bit softer at times but just as poignant. I hope you enjoy what has been a remarkable music experience for me.
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Format: Audio CD
Ahh yes, the weakerthans. To call them "emo" would just be incorrect. To call them "folk" would be an extreme understatement. However, to take this CD at face value wouldn't be doing it any justice. I guess I expected something a little punkier (Being that they are on a punk label), but I am still having trouble finding the right words to decribe this cd. It starts out calm, and throughtful with "Everything must go." Ahh yes, there is that punky, heavier side I expected from former Propaghandi member Jahn Samson. The next two tracks are much faster, but with the same emotional lyrics. The rest of rthe album progresses with a few more folkier songs, and a few guitar heavy balads, until the thrid to last tracks which build up to a stunning climax whihc brought me to tears. Call it what you want: punk, folk, rock, but if there is one word we can all agree on for "Left and Leaving it is staggering.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have yet to find a perfect album, but Left and Leaving might be the closest I ever come. John K. Samson's lyrical skills are at their finest here, and the music itself is some of the most beautiful.

I give a slight edge to Exiles Among you over This Is a Fire Door Never Leave Open for my favorite song on the album, but I have a recently acquired and increasing appreciation for the title track, Left and Leaving, which has now made it a three-way toss-up for me. These three songs all bring together wonderfully metaphoric, anecdotal lyrics with passionate melodies that leave me playing the songs over and over and over again. As with all music I like, I go through phases of listening to this album and not, but during the on times, I can never seem to get enough of the same few songs.

The other highlights from the album are Aside, Watermark, and Elegy for Elsabet. I haven't given the latter a fair enough chance until recently, but it's becoming one of my favorites. I don't care much for Without Mythologies, and I don't listen much to some of the other songs on here, but I could listen to the album from start to finish many times without regret.

This is the kind of music to which I want to learn every word and drumbeat, and I feel like the songs only become more excellent the more familiar I become with the words. Lines such as "And I'm leaning / on this broken fence / between past and present tense" and "My fury's rising faster than bus fares / Can someone clarify why / There's no structured narrative / no neat storyline to explain" only become more meaningful to me the more I hear them.

The Weakerthans' next best album is surely their first, Fallow, and their couple other albums have some notable songs, but nothing comes close to the excellent collection on Left and Leaving.
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