"We Were All Together" is Lisa Cerbone's fourth release. Written entirely by Cerbone and produced by Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek, the album is a lushly orchestrated affair with a quiet, personal feel to it. Adding to that deep feeling is the physical album itself, with the lyrics printed on seven separate cards with glossy black-and-white photos on the opposite side. Really, it's like unwrapping someone's personal scrapbook to dig into the album. Unfortunately, the musical results seem less interesting. Parts of the album are very pretty, but ultimately the entire thing feels like it would be better in small doses.
Certainly, there are aspects of Cerbone's music that work well. Her subtle acoustic guitar playing is nice compliment to the dreamy songs on the album. She lightly and beautifully sets the backdrop for most of the music with her guitar and it usually comes off quite well. The strong arrangements of her guitar with bass, piano, keyboards, strings, and a host of other instruments are the shining light of "We Were All Together."
Still, the album ultimately falls short of being spectacular. For starter's, Lisa Cerbone's voice is, to put it politely, quite distinct. I could see how her pixie on helium vocals (to put it less politely) could appeal to some, but I found it hard to get past them. Even the songs with more emotional lyrical content wound up feeling a little too cute. Perhaps more problematic is that the album becomes kind of dull after a short while. The soft, slow, steady music ultimately makes "We Were All Together" into kind of a snoozer. It's good for about three songs at a time, but after that comes the Sandman. Certainly, I can't discount Lisa Cerbone's music entirely, but I was left wanting something else to get excited about. 5/10 -- Matt Blackall (20 August, 2008)