All We Are

Album: Some Mad Hope (2007)
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Songfacts®:

  • "All We Are" is the closing track on Matt Nathanson's breakthrough album Some Mad Hope. The album tells the story of his marital problems; the most popular song in the set, "Come On Get Higher," finds him stepping out. He struggles with his choices on various tracks, but by this closing number he has clarity.

    "At the end of this tumultuous relationship I get back together with my wife, so 'All We Are' is her song," he said in a livestream.
  • In the same livestream, Nathanson talked about the line, "Bought and sold like property." He said: "I didn't have any idea how love worked and I squandered it at every turn with somebody who actually loved me. Property has value, but not really. I come back with my tail between my legs."
  • The song was about three years in the making. Nathanson worked on it mostly with his producers, Marshall Altman and Mark Weinberg, both of whom have composer credits on the track. Altman played percussion on it as well.
  • In a Songfacts interview with Nathanson, he talked about the album title Some Mad Hope. "You've gotta have mad hope in this life to survive," he said. "That title was written for a specific experience I had but I had no idea it was tied into my reason to be. I am a very hopeful person. It's how I've survived in the music business so long."
  • Nathanson was really into the 1991 U2 album Achtung Baby when he made Some Mad Hope, and he wanted the sequencing to have a similar vibe. Achtung Baby ends with a song called "Love Is Blindness," which is similarly reflective to "All We Are."

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