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Lisa Cerbone
Ordinary Days
Little Scrubby Music

It's been a long time coming between records, six years to be exact, during which time Lisa Cerbone took at hiatus from music creation to make a family. The result is an unassuming quiet, record that keeps a thoughtfully melancholic keel. This is the album you want on when you're nursing a cup of tea while tracing the rain trails on your bedroom window, an album tailor-made for the Zen of brooding.

At times, Cerbone's voice evokes warm comparisons with Susanna Hoffs (in a good way) and even Patti Griffin. She doesn't strain her voice as much as she seems to quietly exhale her songs with a minimum of theatrics. Such artful scarcity dovetails nicely with the production of Mark Kozelek, the moody dirge master from The Red House Painters. His touch is light and serene, keeping the clean, sparse arrangements set in a tight bouquet around Cerbone's vocals. Kozelek's guitar parts are simple vine climbers that generally follow the emotional arc of the songs without resorting to excessive repetition. That wandering element in the instrumentation synchronizes seamlessly with Cerbone's use of images, which tends toward the filmic, a captured character or moment two within cupped hands of a song. There are no catchy choruses, no refrains that have particular stick, but the songs work at the level of her lyrical brushstrokes, building into fragile, beautiful portraits.

Like many a Red House Painters' or Innocence Mission record, Ordinary Days has a relatively homogenous tone and style. You might find such consistency and mood harmony dull or you might find the uninterrupted pace to be cradle rocking bliss. For my buck, this is just the sort of record that I love to sink into, an album that asks only that you take your time allowing it to patiently unfold and gradually seep in.

-Terry Sawyer

Track Listing:

1. Swallowing Stones
2. How You Shine
3. Sweep Your Hair From Your Eyes
4. Ruthless Order
5. Araby
6. Love Grows Slow
7. Beautiful Mess
8. Dangerous Thing
9. Mrs. Foster
10. Ordinary Days



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