Over the Rhine - The Trumpet Child
Coming at you today with a guest post from my bud Emily R., who talks up the new release from Over the Rhine. It's an album I'm fond of as well, so I'm glad to help spread the love...
Over the Rhine released their eighteenth album in late August, and the husband and wife team of Bergquist and Detweiler continue to be innovative in each effort, even when nostalgic. Many reviewers have used nostalgic words to describe the new release, The Trumpet Child: words like "neo-cabaret," "burlesque," and "music of a by-gone era." They aren't wrong.
The disc opens with the smooth sounds of saxophones to set the tone for the whole experience. Each song borrows a little from another genre of music, with Karin Bergquist. "I Don't Want to Waste Your Time" hints at a gospel wail, while "Trouble" mixes a tango riff with the feel of Cuban jazz. "I'm on a Roll" and "If a Song Could Be President" feel like country songs the way they used to be, though Karin's drawl is Midwestern in sound and soulful in feel. "Desperate for Love" might have been sung in Paris in the 40s. "Don't Wait for Tom" is a dirty cut of spoken word with sounds reminiscent of old New Orleans. Every element of this album embrace the way music sounded and felt when it was "better"--or at least simpler.
None of this is to say that this, one of the best records OTR has created to date, lacks innovation. The composition of each song is exquisite, thanks to Detweiler's abilities to know exactly when to add more and when to leave a song to stand for itself. Interesting instrumentation never overwhelms the music. Karin's voice is smooth and beautiful--some may find she has a similar sound to Feist, but I find it more country, jazzy, and perhaps, sleepy. Every track is different in its inspiration, message, and construction, so the CD is like a treasure trove--even though united in a simple but consistent theme.
Over the Rhine - Trouble
Over the Rhine - Don't Wait for Tom
If interested, visit their website where you can listen to the entire album on the record player. Note that they're releasing a Christmas album nationwide this month--they made it last year, but didn't release it. They're also visiting the great state of Georgia soon, with a show in Athens (Melting Point, 10/18) and two in Decatur (Eddie's Attic, 10/22 and 10/23). I saw them once seven years ago, and I'll definitely be making it to one of these.
Ed. note: Thanks Emily!