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The Long Surrender (Bonus Track Version)

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iTunes Review

Ohio’s Over the Rhine have dwindled down to primarily the husband-wife duo of Linford Detweiler and Karin Berquist. With producer Joe Henry carefully sculpting atmospheres, the duo go about crafting songs that aim for the heart and the ether. It’s mostly the effect of Berquist’s classically trained vocals that can skitter close to an ache and then take flight like a butterfly. “The Laugh of Recognition” has a sense of longing burning underneath its easeful gait. Elsewhere, the darkness swells over tunes that turn to a disturbing quiet to make their points. “Sharpest Blade” is pure noir. “Undamned,” with its upright bass stalking the sparse guitar piece and its guest vocals from Lucinda Williams, has the feel of a nightclub scene coming apart as the daylight exposes the hidden blemishes. “Infamous Love Songs” has a grand sense of theater with the perfect vocal and piano flourishes. “Only God Can Save Us Now” is a simple, straightforward folk song. “Oh Yeah By the Way” is a sweet duet. This Exclusive Version includes a gorgeous take of “Favorite Time of Light.”

Customer Reviews

If you could only only 2 CDs: Good Dog Bad Dog & The Long Surrender

I've been a fan of OtR for a very long time. Their Christmas concert has become a family tradition and of late the summer Coney Island concert too. One of the things I love about the band is that they've never made the same album twice. It would be easy for Karin and Linford to remake "Ohio" or "Trumpet Child"; many bands have given in to that kind of temptation. But the band continues to grow, to experiment, and to branch out. It has disappointed some fans perhaps but without that spirit to grow "The Long Surrender" would never have happened.

"The Laugh of Recognition" and "Days Like This" are obvious choices for single releases. They showcase Karin's soaring voice and literate lyrics. But without question my favorite is "Only God Can Save Us Now". I think no one but Karin could write a song about the people she met in a nursing home when she visited her mother and only Karin could make that song hopeful despite it all. Like Karin, all my favorite people are broken, and I'd have it no other way.

In the past I introduced people to my favorite band by giving them "Good Dog Bad Dog" but from now on it will be this album. What Karin and Linford, Joe Henry, and a thousand or more good friends have created is a wonder to behold.


God...this is good!
So, I played it again.
and then turned it UP. LOUD
All kinds of surprises lurking around the edges!
Played it some more...lots of times!
a gorgeous batch of songs this is!
Full of life and honesty...
real, heartfelt, poetic
beautifully crafted

Cincinnati duo return with Joe Henry-produced release

On their first album in three years, Cincinnati’s Over the Rhine teams with producer Joe Henry. The darkness of 2005’s Drunkard’s Prayer and 2007’s Snow Angels is still evidenced in the lingering tempos, low, deliberate piano notes, slow shuffling drums and atmospheric pedal steel washes. The vocal phrases are broadly spaced, playing more like extemporaneous thought than written words, and though the lyrics appear straightforward on their surface, their meanings are elusive, thrown into shadow by the questions in Karin Bergquist’s voice and the moodiness of the arrangements. The album’s opener beckons one to recognize a good, yet ultimately failed effort; one is left to wonder if this the voice of experienced pragmatism or a siren’s lure to spiritual death. There are road trips and parades whose poetic allusions dovetail seamlessly with the band’s accompaniment, and a jazz ballad, “Infamous Love Song,” that recalls beat-era poetry.

The troubled love of “Oh Yeah By the Way,” sung as a duet with OTR co-leader Linford Detweiler, is more straightforward, and “Only God Can Save Us Now” cleverly uses a baby doll as a through line between pre-school and old age. Henry’s production is organic to the songs, as though they were developed in tandem. The stick percussion of “The King Knows How” adds tension with clock-like time-keeping, and Detweiler’s piano provides romantic introductions and interludes throughout the album. Bergquist and Detweiler write lyrics of inner emotion, and Henry’s production textures turn these thoughts and words into sound and music. The disc is delivered in a tri-fold digipack with two booklets – one containing lyrics, credits and Joe Henry’s liner notes, and the other a list of nearly a thousand fans who provided financial support for the recording. This is thoughtful, old-school music brought to you by twenty-first century listener-to-artist funding. [©2011 hyperbolium dot com]


Formed: 1989 in Cincinnati, OH

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Over the Rhine had already developed a large and intensely loyal following in their native Cincinnati, Ohio before they independently released their first two albums, Till We Have Faces (1991) and Patience (1992). Their music, which they aptly dubbed "post-nuclear, pseudo-alternative, folk-tinged art-pop," is difficult to pigeonhole. They have been compared to 10,000 Maniacs, the Innocence Mission, U2, and Shawn Colvin, but the band's personality seems to owe more to its literary influences (which...
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The Long Surrender (Bonus Track Version), Over the Rhine
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