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A Very Beautiful And Intelligent Album
Joseph C. Clark | 11/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have listened to a great deal of popular music from Elvis to Eminem, but this is one of the most beautiful and lush pop music albums ever. The final song, Feeling Is Mutual, is worth the money all by itself. A rather untypical effort from the usual folksy trio. The three Roche sisters sing like angels and write angelic sentiments. What's so bad about singing about loving your Mom? We could use more songs like this nowadays, when kids routinely diss their parents. The rest of the songs are mostly about the complexities of romantic relationships, but are also about the disillusionment of fame, shyness, the sexual revolution, God, femininity, losing jobs, etc. In other words, it's a very serious, grown-up album. The Roches' singing exudes great warmth and spirituality. The production is very good, although sometimes the drum sound is too thin and weak. But many interesting instruments are used and the arrangements are always clever. Irritating electronics are kept to a minimum after having been misused in a dominant way on the previous album, "Another World". Most importantly, the Roches came up with excellent melodies that make you want to listen to this album time and time again. Most of the best songs the Roches have done were on this album."
SPEAK is the best Roches album
Joshua Smith | New Hartford, CT United States | 08/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Don't listen to the rumors that "Speak" is the worst Roches album, because in all honesty, it is the BEST Roches album. This album totally totally changed my life and it continues to inspire me every time I listen to it. The cheesy synth arrangements that adorn the tracks only add to the brilliance of this album in my opinion. I might also add that this album contains my very favorite song of all time not just by the Roches, but by ANY RECORDING ARTIST EVER, which is the song "Merciful God." That song is the work of true geniuses, as are many, many more of songs on this timeless masterpiece. Don't pass it up!!!"
A new, less acoustic era for the Roches
Catherine S. Vodrey | East Liverpool, Ohio United States | 04/30/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although I prefer earlier Roches albums that stick with just their magnificent harmonies and acoustic instrumentation, there are many fine songs on this album. It features a fair amount of electronic instrumentation, with rather weak drum sounds. That's certainly bothersome, knowing what their capabilities are, but there's still no getting around the fact that there are half a dozen really wonderful tunes here.On "Speak," which opens the album, the sisters three sing ruefully about the difficulty and uncomfortableness of coming right out and saying what you really want to say ("O when I open up my beak/I hope that I can quack"). "Big Nuthin'" is a terrific "go to hell" post-breakup tune. And "Cloud Dancing" is an absolutely fascinating amalgam of ancient Chinese text (written by Huang O in the 16th century) and ethereal modern-day music. As usual, the Roches soar musically while maintaining a vaguely ironic edge--anyone familiar with them will giggle upon hearing them sing Huang O's poetry:"Every morning I get up
Beautiful as the Goddess
Of Love in Enchanted Mountain . . .
My slender waist and thighs
Are exhausted and weak
From a night of cloud dancing,
But my eyes are still lewd
And my cheeks are flushed." "I Love My Mom" is both a compliment to their own mother and a complaint about their own motherhood. "Losing Our Job" is almost painfully serious, and a searing examination of a relationship in trouble. Almost all the songs are good, with some being absolutely stellar. The only one that really grates is the overly self-aware "The Anti Sex Backlash of the 80's." All in all, this is a very slightly uneven but still eminently listenable Roches album."