Marie Roche,
Roomfull of Noise
(Transmit, 2004)

Marie Roche writes and sings songs from her heart and mind. She prides herself on the fact that these recordings are laid down without high-tech tweaks, electronic wizardry or multiple edits. What you hear is a writer who loves to express herself in music and has the voice and courage to do it.

Living in the English West Country and coming from parents who were musicians, she has produced an album full of songs that will delight and sometimes intrigue you.

Roche (there has to be an Irish past there) has a beautiful sweet voice and this is part of her great performing strength. Within that delivery she hides characters and stories that creep up on you and leave you amazed.

Part of the charm is depicted even with a song title like "Two Feet in One Shoe." The song itself is crammed with imagery like "the pages were silent, her thoughts hard to find."

"You say never waste a word" is the opening line from "Words," and it sounds like a dictum well learned by Roche. It tells a tale of being a singer-songwriter and should be required listening for the "wannabes" who seek instant success. Roche lives the song on this CD and it is wonderful. The motif of performance resurfaces with "Take a Bow," although it just uses the life of the performer to illustrate giving thanks.

Roche penned all the tracks here except "The Organ Grinder," and it shows. This is a grittier song but she gives a good performance on it nonetheless. Her strength lies in telling us stories in song but she has opinions and is not afraid to express them.

The performance and singing angle recurs on "Little People." With lines like "These are wasted days, people swap their lives for a worthless wage" and "Only trust the words of a price tag," you get the feel for this song and the writer. She has something to say and we need to listen. This is music for the sake of music, messages delivered in verse and tune, the best of contemporary folk.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 23 July 2005

[ visit the artist's website ]