The Mendoza Line

We're All in This Alone

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The Mendoza Line has for so long made charmingly homespun if ultimately insignificant pop records that the woozy beauty and emotional depth of We're All in This Alone is nothing short of revelatory; the product of the band's near breakup and relocation from their native Georgia to Brooklyn (all crowding into the same apartment, no less), the album channels their interpersonal turmoil into a gorgeously understated examination of the sexual dynamics that divide and conquer men and women alike. The songs proceed in point/counterpoint fashion, with Margaret Maurice and Shannon McArdle contributing the distaff perspective while Timothy Bracy and Peter Hoffman refute the charges; the debate culminates with the record's centerpiece, the lovely "Where You'll Land," in which both sides at the very least agree that it will all end in tears, regardless of where the blame lies. The wise-ass bite of the lyrics and the ramshackle radiance of the band's spaciously jangly melodies mask the bitter truths at the heart of We're All in This Alone; in outlining the essential differences that separate the sexes, the Mendoza Line's songs feed on resignation and recrimination. The irony, of course, is that the same things that hold the band's music together drive the band's members (and their respective genders) farther apart.

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