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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely little harbour of sorts
Port O'Brien could be this years left field classic. The Oakland duo of Van Pierszalowski and Cambria Goodwin provide a collection of folk tinged pop songs augmented by banjo, cello and violin like Death Cab For Cutie covering The Waterboys. All We Could Do Was Sing follows on from 2007's collection of self-recorded early songs "The Wind and the Swell," which garnered...
Published on 13 Aug 2008 by russell clarke

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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Extremely uninspiring
I came to this album with high hopes.'Indie Folk' sounded just the sort of musical concoction to whet my appetite.Unfortantely....not to put too finer point on it...is was all a bit rubbish ! Extremely dreary songs performed with an almost sixth form college band level of musicianship and produced by someone recruited from a deaf school.The institution not the Scouse band...
Published on 4 Jun 2010 by Arthur Dooley


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely little harbour of sorts, 13 Aug 2008
By 
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: All We Could Do Was Sing (Audio CD)
Port O'Brien could be this years left field classic. The Oakland duo of Van Pierszalowski and Cambria Goodwin provide a collection of folk tinged pop songs augmented by banjo, cello and violin like Death Cab For Cutie covering The Waterboys. All We Could Do Was Sing follows on from 2007's collection of self-recorded early songs "The Wind and the Swell," which garnered enough praise to raise their profile sufficiently.
The slightly gruff multi- harmonic overload of opening track " I Woke Up Today" is a bit of a misnomer as it hints at a kind of rustic Arcade Fire but this band are actually far more stripped back and confessional than that. There is an intimacy and empathy to this music that hauls them back from the more ostentatious levels of that type of music. Not that there is anything wrong with that mind but this music feels far more personnel and therefore a little more special or is that me being a little precious. Either way this is an album that should be heard.
The sea plays a large briny role in many of these songs ( Van Pierszalowski's spent three month's on his father's fishing trawler in Alaska so it's not too surprising) So songs like "Stuck On A Boat" or "Fisherman's Son" ( another Waterboy,s connection there) are lovely acoustic led laments with strings groaning like shifting timbers. By ways of contrast there is the tangled thickets of electric guitar on "Pigeonholed" -the one song on here that actually outstays it's welcome- or the in your face trembling chords of "Will You Be There?"." The Roof Top Song" recalls past greats like Thin White Rope or Buffalo Tom in their more introspective moments ."Il Vino Veritas" is a woozy shanty , "Close The Lid" classy guitar pop the likes of Razorlight can only dream about ."Valdez" is a brief environmental lament recorded on "the skiff somewhere on Kodiak Island ". "Don't Take My Advice" is a beautiful acoustic country seeped ballad that would make Will Oldham puce with envy.
What Port O'Brien have given us is one of the most special albums of 2008 ,and that is saying something as 2008 has given us some truly terrific albums. One word of warning , though it, doesn't grab you on the first listen , or at least it didn't grab me on the first listen . But it rewards your dedication on repeated listening most handsomely . And once it clicks you will be sailing into their little harbour on a regular basis.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to try this one!, 23 Mar 2009
By 
A. Western - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: All We Could Do Was Sing (Audio CD)
Was introduced to this singer via Uncut magazine with free CD. I am sooooo glad I purchased this album from the one track I had heard on an introductory compilation CD - and can well recommend it - in my opinion there's only one track I'm not too fussy on otherwise it has now become one of our favourite players!!
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Extremely uninspiring, 4 Jun 2010
By 
Arthur Dooley (N Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: All We Could Do Was Sing (Audio CD)
I came to this album with high hopes.'Indie Folk' sounded just the sort of musical concoction to whet my appetite.Unfortantely....not to put too finer point on it...is was all a bit rubbish ! Extremely dreary songs performed with an almost sixth form college band level of musicianship and produced by someone recruited from a deaf school.The institution not the Scouse band !
Two stars is a bit generous but it's a beautiful morning and I'm in a good mood.
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All We Could Do Was Sing
All We Could Do Was Sing by Port O'Brien (Audio CD - 2008)
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