Why the Long Face

Why the Long Face

by Suzzy & Maggie Roche


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Why the Long Face

In the song “Who Cares” from their second release as a duo, Suzzy and Maggie Roche caution: “If you live in New York City / Keep your eye on the sky / Afraid to take a subway ride / Wondering about the next time.” But in spite of taking on such tough, post-9/11 topics, Why the Long Face? plays less like an angry battle cry than a hopeful prayer. For example, in “The Warwick Flog,” inspired by a Roche-led community workshop on dreams, the sisters sing loosely associated, highly symbolic lyrics in fugal form, creating an ethereal, pastiche-like hymn. And in “For Those Whose Work Is Invisible,” Suzzy sets to music a poem by acclaimed novelist Mary Gordon, which gives thanks for all the toilers of unheralded trades (sewer engineers, for one). The heart of the album, however, has to be the passionate one-two punch of "La Vie C'est la Vie,” with its suicidal lyrics about unrequited love by Harlem Renaissance poet Jessie Fauset, followed by "Don't Be Afraid," a resplendent reaffirmation of the will to live. (Listen for luminary composer David Amram’s puckish French horn lick at the end.) Veteran Roches producer Stewart Lerman blends the seemingly disparate mix of folk, orchestral, and ambient sound to perfect symbiosis, and the sisters’ voices are as calm and clear as mountain streams, whether solo or converging in lush multi-track harmonies. Though by no means advocating the use of rose-colored glasses, the beauty and whimsy of Why the Long Face? serves as much-needed encouragement for keeping our collective chins up; a spot-on prescription for today’s jagged nerves and nihilistic souls.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/05/2004
Label: Red House
UPC: 0033651017929
catalogNumber: 179
Rank: 170731

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Suzzy & Maggie Roche   Primary Artist
David Amram   French Horn
Paulinho Braga   Drums
Stewart Lerman   Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Drums,Bass Guitar,Hammond Organ
David Mansfield   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Mandolin,Violin,Electric Guitar,Guitar (Nylon String)
Paul Ossola   Acoustic Bass
Suzzy Roche   Guitar,Piano,Vocals
Paul Socolow   Electric Bass,Bass Guitar
Dorothy Lawson   Cello
Maggie Roche   Guitar,Piano,Vocals
Marlon Cherry   Percussion
Paulo Braga   Drums

Technical Credits

Brian Wilson   Composer
Stewart Lerman   Producer,Engineer,Contributor,Audio Production
Suzzy Roche   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Jon Turner   Composer
Maggie Roche   Composer
Jessie Fauset   Composer
Mary Lee Gordon   Composer
Jack Rieley   Composer
Mark Johnson   Composer

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