All We Could Do Was Sing

Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Filter
    84
    There are some raucous shout-alongs (with pots and pans!), but the band keeps it cohesive as singer Van Pierszalowski steers them through thoughtful waters--standing boldly triumphant in the face of the rempest. [Spring 2008, p.89]
  2. All We Could Do Was Sing does exactly what it say on the tin - an astonishing album, rich in storytelling and fables; woven with 11 brilliant songs by a band apparently driven by nothing more than the sheer love of performing.
  3. That’s not to say they don’t come across like an all-singing, all-banging Life Aquatic armed with pots, pans and whatever instrument comes to hand, but from the raw, stamping folk-punk to the string layered sea ditties, All We Could Do Was Sing is much more than it initially lets on.
  4. And as folksiness, indieness and bittersweet mournfulness set the tone, it also becomes apparent that this is much better than the words ‘folk’ and ‘indie’ on their own suggest.
  5. ['Valdez' is] a wholly appropriate ending to an album by a band that makes its own experiences with distance and isolation into something that is, whether sad or celebratory, at once as changeable and as constant as the sea.
  6. Uncut
    80
    It's all charmingly rendered and, as in the wigout 'Pigeonhold,' teeming with joyous abandon a la the Arcade Fire. [Sep 2008, p.98]
  7. The good news is that the band's official debut (following the 2007 collection "Wind And The Swell") is still a solid art-pop album at its core, and importantly, more "American Gangster" than "The Crane Wife."
  8. There's a distance to their music, as if they're floating away on the horizon, just out of reach. It's worth savouring them that way.
  9. Merging aquatic Americana that casts its net over the gang mentality of Arcade Fire, The Polyphonic Spree and Broken Social Scene – and that most über-overexposed of F-words, folk – it’s clear why Johnny Marr is touting the Californian throng as his new favourite band.
  10. Under The Radar
    70
    All We Could Do Was Sing is an excellent advertisement for a live show. [Summer 2008, p.88]
  11. They like wonky jangle that recalls Pavement, mumbling melancholy, and the odd rowdy singalong and flourish of violin. Then something happens: their songs start to snag, and their sharp, simple lyrics do justice to sentiment.

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