I was singing Hallelujah: The best of The Roches

Unafraid of sentimentality because they trust the warmth of their harmonized vocals, Maggie and Suzzy and Terre Roche released a series of albums whose pinprick-sharp depictions of infidelity and tensions in the nuclear family that still sound like challenges. They weren’t the McGarrigles or the Judds — they court unpleasantness. They needed gentle, sympathetic ministrations from Robert Fripp and late ’80s keyboards (like Leonard Cohen the sisters needed chintzier presets); the congruence of their harmonies and Fripp’s guitar, notably on topper “The Hammond Song,” is unearthly and in the right (or wrong?) headspace terrifying. Listening to their albums is like stepping into a family dinner whose members insist on including you in their obscurantic inside jokes; they smother you with hugs and wet smooches, which has its pluses and minuses.

1. The Hammond Song
2. The Hallelujah Chorus
3. Mr. Sellack
4. Love Radiates Around
5. Big Nuthin’
6. Sex Is for Children
7. Somebody’s Gonna Have to Be Me
8. I Love My Mom
9. Runs in the Family
10. My Sick Mind
11. The Train
12. Broken Places

3 thoughts on “I was singing Hallelujah: The best of The Roches

  1. Adore adore adore the Roches. Absolutely stunned that “Losing True” didn’t make the cut – it is “Hammond Song’s” most worthy sequel – another perfect confluence of their indelible harmonies and Fripp’s slippery guitar moans.

    1. I’m not a superfan but for me is like Judee Sill’s “The Kiss”, a one-prefect-moment whose ethereal returns can be sublime and terrifying or just the right side of angelic, like in Sill’s case for me. Two sides of a coin: one a kiss-off so inviting it seems like they’re the angels of death when you come down to get what they’re saying.. The other one, white gospel, which I’ve always prefer to the bad gospel imitations from white people with “black syndrome” like Cocker or Bolton. I’m as far as as christian rock as you can imagine, but when something is right, it can be trascendent. At least it is to me.

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