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The Roches
Warner Bros. 3298
Released: May 1979
Chart Peak: #58
Weeks Charted: 11

With Steve Forbert and Carolyn Mas, the three Roche sisters represent the best of the current wave of New York folk rockers. Though the emphasis here is on the vocal harmonies and the acoustic guitars of the trio, the addition of Robert Fripp on electric guitar and "Fripperies," as well as Larry Fast on synthesizer, provides a contemporary electronic undertone to the melodic music. The songs are touching little vignettes, sensitive and delicate. Though the LP is composed mostly of folk and ballad material, it never lags. Best cuts: "The Train," "Pretty And High," "The Troubles," "Runs In The Family," "Damned Old Dog."

- Billboard, 1979.

Bonus Reviews!

Robert Fripp's austere production of this witty, pretty music not only abjures alien instrumentation but also plays up the quirks of the Roches' less-than-commanding voices and acoustic guitars. Thus it underscores their vulnerability and occasional desperation and counteracts their flirtations with the coy and the fey. The result is not a perfect record, but rather one whose imperfections are lovingly mitigated. Replete with memorable melodies, heartbreaking harmonies, wise words, and lotsa laffs. A

- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.

An extraordinary debut record with ringing, soaring harmonies rubbing up against a beautiful and spare instrumental sound. A powerful piece of work.

- Bruce Eder, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.

A clarion-calling card if there ever was one, The Roches is a mesmerizing acoustic showcase framed around such striking compositions as "Hammond Song," "Married Men" and the giddy "Mr. Sellack." The immediacy and intimacy of Fripp's "audio verite" production captures every nuance from breathing sounds to the squeaks of sliding fingers on the frets. * * * *

- David Okamoto, Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, 1996.

The incredible talents of Maggie, Terre and Suzzy Roche shine on this Robert Fripp-produced delightful introduction to a cappella girl group nonpareil. The songs sparkle with wit and heartbreak all at once (these sisters must have quirkiness as a family trait) and oh those harmonies! -- so perfect they could make and angel chorus hang up their music boots. * * * * *

- Zagat Survey Music Guide - 1,000 Top Albums of All Time, 2003.

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