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“Yeah, I guess people do get beat up a lot,” laughs Lisa Cerbone after being asked why she’s so tough on the characters that appear on Close Your Eyes, her first album for Georgia-based Ichiban International. There’s more talk of kid-bashing (“Amber,” “Dead End Street”), wife-beating (“Three Boys in the Schoolyard”), and even self-abuse (“Tears”) on the disc than there is on a month’s worth of Oprahs. Those in Cerbone’s inner circle would no doubt be relieved by the quickness with which she insists that her songs shouldn’t be construed as autobiographical. “I get asked a lot what my family thinks of this, whether they’re the people I’m talking about,” she admits. “My family has asked me about that, too. I say, “This is fiction!’ ” Musically, meanwhile, Cerbone favors an approach that is anything but gritty. On most of Eyes‘ tracks, the diminutive Baltimorean comes off as a fuzz-box-less Julianna Hatfield, and Willem Elzevir’s moody violin adds to the album’s pervasive melancholia. For information on how to get Eyes, which was recorded at Hit and Run in Rockville and produced by that studio’s Steve Carr, write P.O. Box 1714, Ellicott City, MD 21401, or call Ichiban at (800) 966-4244.