"The harmonies of the Roches are singular. Their songwriting talents also are remarkable, and for me, KEEP ON DOIN' is the best of both worlds. Here, find their signature acapella version of Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus"; their best original song (by my lights), "Losing True," whose remarkable harmonies combine with tricky but artistically perfect wordplay to create a masterpiece about heartbreak and longing (Robert Fripp's embellishing guitarwork also is wonderful here); "Want Not," a brilliant companion piece (albeit inadvertent) to Tim Miller's HOW TO WANT WHAT YOU HAVE; the stunning rendition of the folksong "On the Road to Fairfax County"; the title track "Keep On Doin'/Jerks on the Loose," which truly is an anthem for any contemporary idealist; well, it goes on and on (the cryptic but evocative "Scorpion Lament" and "Steady with the Maestro"; the hilarious/poignant "Sex Is for Children"; etc.).I was very, very fortunate to see Maggie and Suzzy in concert at Godfrey Daniels in Bethlehem, PA on 16 December 2000. Although "Want Not" isn't something they perform frequently these days, they tried it (at my prodding) and did a stupendous job. (I also requested "Losing True," but Maggie said she'd "have to sit down" in order to try that one--the harmonies are taxing--but it was not meant to be that particular evening.)The Roches deserve far more popular recognition than they have received. Check out their entire oeuvre: none of their work disappoints; all of it surprises; and each song is crafted with such love and attention, you'll wonder why you never realized that "The Married Men" was THEIR original song!"
A superb Roches album
Catherine S. Vodrey | East Liverpool, Ohio United States | 04/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Roches are so hard to categorize simply because they so deftly manage songs that echo mountain music, rock and roll, folk, techno-pop, and beyond. This album is an excellent example of their polymathic tendencies. On their rendition of Georg Friedrich Handel's famous "Hallelujah Chorus" from "Messiah," they do splendid three-part harmony, keeping totally to Handel's music and lyrics while somehow managing to inject their usual wittiness into the arrangement. When I saw them perform this in Pittsburgh about ten years ago, they enhanced the disconnect between their reputations and Handel's by huddling together, shoulder to shoulder, dressed in black leather jackets and affecting "tough guy" expressions. Their soaring harmonies that night were brought down to earth by the occasional hilarious yawn, eyes rolled heavenward, and meticulous examination of their fingernails--all of which highlighted the casualness with which they can toss off the most exquisitely harmonious music.True to form, most of the songs herein are written by the Roches themselves. While Maggie usually does the honors in the songwriting department (and acquits herself admirably here with "Losing True," among others), Terre and Suzzy also do a couple of star turns with "Keep On Doing What You Do/Jerks on the Loose" and "I Fell In Love," just to name a couple. "I Fell In Love," especially, has a wonderfully meandering feel to the music while sharply detailing the ups and downs of teenage love:"I knew there was something about you that I liked, yeah,
But I only realized it when I spied you
At your mother's house last week
I'd only ever seen you on your bike, yeah,
I thought you were a slick affected
Switchblade-flashing motorcycle freak . . .
I fell in love, I fell in love, I fell in love."On the unfortunately named "Sex is For Children," the Roches take the words from an old A. A. Milne poem about a baby named Timothy Tim and string them together with a wiry, muscular electric guitar sequence that is positively addictive. Finally, on "On the Road to Fairfax County" (a David Massengill tune finely done in the tradition of traditional gothic romance tunes like "Barbara Allen"), the Roches sound as though they are bunch of witchy Irish sisters, singing around the fire in a peat bog somewhere, applying their seamless harmonies to a gruesome yet musically gorgeous tale of love at first sight and death. The Roches outdo themselves pretty much everywhere on this very, very fine album."
Fantastic folk album--you'll never hear better vocals
firstname.lastname@example.org | South Windsor, CT USA | 09/24/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Roches have always been known for their great vocals, but this time they combine them with lyrics that will amuse and touch you. This for me is their greatest work, and I have all their albums."
Keep on Doing by the Roches
Elliott Jacobowitz | Andover, MA United States | 12/17/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great album. If the only Roches album you know is the first one (the Roches), you might be initially disappointed with this one, since the "the Roches" is such an incredible album. But when you start listening to this, you realize bit by bit that the songwriting is still great here. The harmonies and the arrangements are wonderful. I think my favorite tune is actually not written by them, " On the Road to Fairfax County". But they do an amazing job with the arrangement and the performance. If you don't fall in love with Maggie Roche, you may not be listening hard enough."
Another great one
Emma Hardesty | Tucson, AZ | 05/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All The Roches music is equally great: their lyrics touch on pieces of life that no one usually sings about--working in a restaurant, baby for the "unwed" mother, a big guy taking up a two-person seat--the music is captivating, and the harmonies perfectly intricate. Try singing a line yourself and you realize how they pick up each others voices and go running off to unreachable highs and lows. They even make me laugh. If you're scrounging around to find pride in this country like some of us, The Roches do us proud."