OVER THE RHINE

The Long Surrender

2010-12-03

When they were here in Grand Rapids recently, the husband-and-wife duo of Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler said that they have been taking longer and longer to finish their recordings -- bad for us eager for more OTR music in one respect, but wonderful in the end product they deliver, this time with respected writer and producer Joe Henry at the helm. The record's an instant classic and highlights the exquisite voice of Bergquist; there's simply no vocalist outside of jazz that can out-sing, out-sultry and out-emote her. Detweiler's penetrating -- and sometimes wry -- lyrics are thought-provoking, but in an unforced manner, never over-bearing. "All my favorite people are broken," sings Bergquist, "believe me, my heart should know" on the record's climactic number and we do believe her and take this beautiful song to heart. "Only God Can Save Us Now" is a funny and poignant story of the residents of a nursing home (and the place where Bergquist's mom is now living). "Infamous Love Song" is a long ode to marriage despite the faults and the frailties of the participants. "The King Knows How" is the latest Bergquist torcher that appears on every OTR release. Lucinda Williams provides a perfect musical counterpoint on "Undamned." OTR has no peer when it comes to delivering such musical depth of heart and soul. May the infamous love song they are playing continue. 12/10 MJVD R-Contemporary

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.