Several decades after the original heyday of power-pop sensations The Sighs and their breakthrough album What Goes On, it’s amazing to hear their prolific lead singer and songwriter Robert LaRoche still poppin’ on all cylinders, helping us reflect on the highest highs, the lowest lows, the greatest complications and wildly transcendent excitement of lasting love.
Though the band is still blissfully still active, releasing their latest EP Tearing My Heart Again in 2020, LaRoche is also emerging quite impactfully as a solo indie artist. On his irresistibly infectious second full length album Forevermore, his commitment to glorious vocal harmonies, sometimes easy, often rumbling grooves and overall sense of dreamy voiced, jangling optimism is so sunny-bright that it shines through behind even “Traitorous Heart,” one of the angriest, most ominous lyrics on the entire collection. The places where chipper jangle and more optimistic expressions match beautifully include the high spirited opening desire filled pop/rocker “Steal Your Heart,” the mystical mid-tempo and bluesy “Burn That Kingdom” and the charming, kindhearted “Safer Inside,” where he promises to shelter someone until an emotional storm passes.
Likewise, on the dark side, the brooding, tension filled energy of the music and his haunting lead and backing choir like vocals on “Hard Rain” match perfectly with lyrics like “Don’t break me now/The lines have been drawn/And a hard hard rain will fall.” On the completely mood swinging flip side, LaRoche offers a soulful and heartfelt, wonder filled reflection on his parents’ 70-year relationship – complete with adventurous atmospheres and rich poetic lines like: “You walk on like the queen you are/Head held high above the stars.”
LaRoche wraps the set with a similarly optimistic but also deeply reflective vibe on “End of Time,” a hypnotic and meditative acoustic ballad which is actually about a new beginning where “You’ll be waiting there/With open arms. . .Hope we’re strong again/Till the end of time.” Fans of The Sighs will be happy to know that LaRoche is doing his solo thing with the help of the band’s drummers Tommy Pluta (who switched to bass later) and Tom Borawski. Forevermore is produced by Oscar winning songwriter, producer and the artist’s longtime friend John DeNicola, the main force behind Omad Records who has worked with the sighs since their debut.