Search - Suzzy Roche :: Holy Smokes

Holy Smokes
Suzzy Roche
Holy Smokes
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

After nine albums and 18 years with her two older sisters as the Roches, Suzzy Roche has become the first one in the group to release a solo album. As the funniest and most charismatic of the three on stage, Suzzy seems mo...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Suzzy Roche
Title: Holy Smokes
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Red House
Original Release Date: 9/16/1997
Release Date: 9/16/1997
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk, Singer-Songwriters
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 033651010425

After nine albums and 18 years with her two older sisters as the Roches, Suzzy Roche has become the first one in the group to release a solo album. As the funniest and most charismatic of the three on stage, Suzzy seems more likely to sustain a solo live show than her siblings. She was the least impressive songwriter of the three, however, possessing neither the sharp verbal insights of oldest sister Maggie nor the musical know-how of middle sister Terre, who handled most of the guitar parts. On "Holy Smokes," Suzzy wrote 11 songs herself and put music to an old poem by her mother for the 12th tune. Too many of the songs are neither funny enough to make one laugh out loud nor serious enough to make one swallow hard. Instead they occupy that broad middle ground of somewhat amusing, somewhat touching songs about the trials and joys of growing up a smart, middle-class American woman. Such songs can be found by the bushel in the folk coffeehouses snuggled into suburban churches and restaurants all over this great land, and nothing about the melodies or language here separates these songs from the pack. Suzzy alludes to an old heroine, Laura Nyro, in the title of "The Second Coming of Eli" and comes up with a funny-sad break-up song in "Crash." Stewart Lerman, who produced the last three Roches albums, does the same for Suzzy, and northern Virginia's Steuart Smith adds his graceful electric guitar. But the album comes closest to the old Roches magic only when Maggie sings harmony on the tongue-in-cheek parable, "Rules." --Geoffrey Himes

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CD Reviews

Suzzy on her own remains quite enjoyable
J. W. L. Smits | Heerlen Netherlands | 08/22/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)

"While The Roches as a trio have never succeeded in matching the quality of their 1979 record (The Roches, a classic), their vocal qualities and witty lyrics make most of their albums quite irresistable. This solo-album by the youngest of the sisters shares these qualities, although the lyrics are less sharp and you miss the beautiful harmonies on all except one song (Maggie sings on Rules). Having said that, it's quite an enjoyable album that's excellently produced. Roches-fans won't regret adding this one to their collection, though I hope this doesn't mark the end of them singing together."
A rather ho-hum outing
KenL | Rocky River, OH United States | 10/18/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I'm not a big Roches fan, though I like some of their stuff a lot. However, I found this album to be rather boring. The track with the most interesting lyrics is "Eggshell," and those are kind of hokey.Overall, the lyrics are better than the melodies, which, after one listening, did not inspire me to put the CD back on the turntable. I recommend Suzzy's second album, or better yet, "Zero Church," as a more worthwhile use of your money."
The best Roches recording
coop1821 | Texas | 04/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This remarkable record-- one of the best of 1997-- proves two things no one would necessarily have expected: one, that Suzzy Roche is the most talented of the Roche sisters; and two, that this is the best record to have come out of any of the three, even better than the 1979 Robert Fripp-produced "The Roches," which had remained the high point for almost two decades. The subtle and mostly gentle musical accompaniment supports rather than overpowers the songs and allows their strengths to shine through. Melodic and "traditional," but in interesting ways, with thoughtful lyrics, these songs draw the listener in with inviting tunes and Suzzy's graceful singing. Then the lyrics begin to sink in, and one catches Suzzy's delightful blend of humor and psychological incision. The title song [which might just as well be called "The Way We Fall Apart"] is the highlight, employing humorous imagery to detail the failure of a relationship, from its throwaway beginning ["is it love or is it hate/ i'm a stand there fence/ you're a swinging gate/ if i was a shoe/ i would walk away"] to its final kindness, even in breakup ["the worst thing is how you are so beautiful and kind/ when i am leaving you behind."]"