The Roches

Can We Go Home Now

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The Roche sisters have been called oddballs more than once, and with good reason -- though their approach has generally been a sweetly appealing folk-rock fusion, there's always been something distinctly off-kilter about their sound. It could be the almost eerie blend of their three voices, or maybe it's their collective tone, which is often reedy to the point of girlishness; sometimes the way they're singing makes you wonder if you're missing a joke somewhere. And chance are pretty good that you are, though the humor is too often self-referential and slightly smug. This album largely avoids those pitfalls, though not entirely. "Move" and "You (Make My Life Come True)" are both perfect love songs with charms as straightforward as the plainspoken singing that delivers them. Ditto for the quirky but endearing "I'm Someone Who Loves You." But "Home Away from Home" deals in distressingly broad political stereotypes, and "When You're Ready" wallows in artsy self-indulgence. The low points are worth enduring for the high points on this album, but it's kind of a close call.

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