Suzzy Roche

Holy Smokes

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    6
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The youngest and most extroverted of the quirky, funny, touching Roche sisters, Suzzy Roche might have been expected to make a funnier and quirkier, but less touching solo album, if only because she often provides comic relief in the group. Instead, her solo debut is more touching and not particularly amusing (though one can imagine her getting laughs with some of the lyrics in concert), its tone set by the first two songs, "My My Broken Heart" and "Crash," both of which concern love lost. Elsewhere, Roche, always sounding restrained, constructs free-form mood pieces for the most part, full of references to more love lost and travel. The two strongest (and most direct) songs are "ABCs," which is about aging, and "Breathing," which is about her daughter. In those songs, and at times in others, she finds expressive ways to communicate emotional insights. Yet this is an oddly tentative premiere for such a seasoned performer, and not as much fun as it should have been.

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