Zero Church

Zero Church

5.0 2
by Suzzy & Maggie Roche, Suzzy Roche, Maggie Roche
     
 
With angelic voices and harmonies that yank at your heartstrings, Zero Church sounds much like any other superb album recorded by the acclaimed Roche sisters, but there's actually a big difference here: Only one song is a full Roche composition. What Suzzy and Maggie (sister Terre appears only as a guest vocalist) have done is collect stories and prayers from

Overview

With angelic voices and harmonies that yank at your heartstrings, Zero Church sounds much like any other superb album recorded by the acclaimed Roche sisters, but there's actually a big difference here: Only one song is a full Roche composition. What Suzzy and Maggie (sister Terre appears only as a guest vocalist) have done is collect stories and prayers from around the world and set them to music. Their choices are inclusive in nature; Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and African traditions are all drawn upon, as well as secular texts that give meditative comfort. Although the album was conceived and recorded before the World Trade Center tragedy, the songs all have resonance in the wake of jarring events and uncertain times. The album opens with a bracing tribute to the power of faith, the traditional spiritual "Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray," sung a cappella with an assist from Dr. Ysaye Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock. Other songs relate tales of oppression and struggle (the harrowing "Musical Prayer by Francis Bok," a first-hand account of slavery in Sudan), as well as survival and victory ("God Bless the Artists," a celebration of the creative spirit). Suzzy's "New York City," written for a September 11th benefit and specially added to the project, is, as Roche sings, "a song for the heroes" and their families, who are grieving "but not alone." Zero Church is an inspiring album, and if it's true, as stated on one of the tracks, that "the sounds we make will travel through space forever," then the Roche sisters have once again improved eternity. -- Nicky Roe

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason MacNeil
This collection of hymns and gospel numbers was originally scheduled for release on September 11, 2001, but global events pushed back the album and additional tracks were added. And it appears as if the wait was worthwhile. The lush vocals of the Roche sisters, along with some lovely backing vocals by a large supporting cast, give each song a dreamy pop feeling despite the religious and socially conscious overtones. "Why Am I Praying" is a perfect example of this idea, with the addition of some flügelhorns and trumpets for a breezy feeling. "New York City," despite the content, has some of the prettiest harmonies recorded in years. "Anyway," supposedly written by Mother Teresa (but such reports were unfounded), resembles Juliana Hatfield or Jane Siberry in her happiest moments. "Teach Me O Lord" has an outstanding a cappella vocal by DuPree, who adds a Southern gospel effect to the proceedings. Songs touch on a variety of topics, from a dying AIDS patient to a former Vietnam veteran in "A Prayer," which is well performed but relies too much on the harmonies throughout. "Praise Song for a New Day" heads into an attractive folk-gospel domain, perhaps the high point of this uplifting bunch. "Allende," with another guest vocalist, is another strong pop-oriented number. Far from a traditional gospel album, the upbeat nature of Zero Church is refreshingly new.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/22/2002
Label:
Red House
UPC:
0033651015727
catalogNumber:
157

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Suzzy & Maggie Roche   Primary Artist
Suzzy Roche   Guitar,Piano,Primary Artist
Stewart Lerman   Banjo,Bass,Guitar,Drums,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Sitar
Paul Ossola   Bass
David Mansfield   Dobro,Violin
Steuart Smith   Flute,Guitar,Piano,Accordion,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Recorder,Wurlitzer
Ruben Martinez   Guitar,Vocals
Sammy Merendino   Percussion,Drums
Marlon Cherry   Percussion,Djembe,Ashiko Drum
Patrick Tull   Piano
Dick Connette   Piano,Orchestra Bells,Harmonium
James O'Connor   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Mary Rowell   Violin
Dorothy Lawson   Cello
Alan Bezozi   Drums
Maggie Roche   Keyboards
Ysaye Barnwell   Vocals
Terre Roche   Vocals
Dave Roche   Vocals
Joel Bard   Vocals
Francis Bok   Vocals

Technical Credits

Maggie Roche   Arranger
Ysaye Barnwell   Arranger
Suzzy Roche   Arranger,Producer
Dick Connette   Arranger,String Arrangements
Stewart Lerman   Producer,Engineer
Scott Lehrer   Engineer
Steuart Smith   Horn Arrangements

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Zero Church 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For 24 years I've been a huge Roches fan. I've seen them over 20 times. They are awesome! This recording is truly amazing. Having listened to it a number of times I am overwhelmed by the diversity. When I first heard ''Everyone is Good'' written by Terre, I knew these women were in touch, really in touch. This recorded ''peace'' of music is just what this world needs now! I wish I had the funds to buy this for the whole world. This is a must buy for all those who 1. Love the Roches 2. Love the Sacred 3. Want to hear some peace. 4. Want to be wholly inspired YOU GO GIRLS. Thanks for all the great music over the years.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This cd is my first, but not my last, by the Roches. After hearing their arrangement of ANYWAY on public radio I wanted to hear more of the harmony of Suzzy and Maggie Roche as well as the content of the other ''found prayers.'' I highly recommend the cd to those who enjoy hearing unique voices and arrangements. My favorites from the cd are ANYWAY, JERIMAH, COULDN'T HEAR NOBODY PRAY, EACH OF US HAS A NAME, WHY AM I PRAYING.