Over the Rhine are a staple of the indie folk scene. Their long career features some amazing albums (Ohio, Good Dog Bad Dog, Drunkards Prayer). You always know what you’re getting with OTR; soulful music with a lot of heart. Karin Bergquist’s smoky vocals are always delivered perfectly.
So it’s no surprise that their latest, The Long Surrender, is another beautiful record.
The Long Surrender, as most OTR albums are, is a nice mix of mild alt-country/folk and dark night club soul. While it’s not groundbreaking or something we haven’t heard from Over the Rhine before, I’d imagine fans would be disappointed if the band changed styles drastically.
Rave On is a song where Karin vocals teeter on the edge of completely letting go as she sings “Rock On”. The music builds to no crescendo, leaving the listener waiting in anxious anticipation for an explosion that never comes.
The record moves from quiet piano led songs, to a full band alt-country jam, to an acoustic guitar, to Karin belting out the most soulful songs you’ll hear. While at times it’s a cluttered mess of styles song to song, you aren’t bored listening to it. And while I wish there was more piano driver soul songs, nothing on Long Surrender is bad.
From a lyrical standpoint, The Long Surrender is a combo of sweet love songs and honest lyrics about the need for grace and forgiveness.
The Long Surrender is another good album for a band that has always put out great music.