Music: Valentines from the Danger Zone

The Roche sisters sing ballads of the heart's misadventures

Love songs like diary notes stuffed in a bottle and set adrift; quick, clenched passages of autobiography set down before the wounds heal and while the wit is still fresh. All in three-part harmony, mind.

The music of the Roche sisters is startling, lacerating and amusing, pretty enough to sing along with, sly enough to linger. It restores a personal, lyric dimension to folk music, cuts through the smugness and self-absorption that have characterized it for too long. The Roches share a kind of skeptical innocence that is delicate but far from fragile. Maggie...

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