The Weakerthans – One Great City! (2003)

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Reconstruction Site is a 2003 album by The Weakerthans. A song cycle about grief, regret, loss and eventual hope, the album is thematically framed by three tracks, “(Manifest)”, “(Hospital Vespers)” and “(Past-Due)”, which set three different sonnets following a terminally ill hospital patient into the aftermath of his death to the same melody.

Other songs examine the album’s themes from different angles: “Plea from a Cat Named Virtute” is written from the perspective of a depressed person’s cat, “One Great City!” is about Samson’s love–hate relationship with his hometown of Winnipeg, and “Our Retired Explorer” imagines a dinner date between philosopher Michel Foucault and a hopelessly nostalgic member of Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to Antarctica.

Guest musicians on the album include Sarah Harmer and Christine Fellows. The album’s cover art was designed by Canadian artist and fellow Winnipegger Marcel Dzama.

The song “One Great City!” serves as the theme song to the Canadian television comedy-drama series Less Than Kind.

In 2013, the album made Ballast’s list of top 50 Canadian albums of all time.


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