LABEL: GREAT SPECKLED DOG
RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 8, 2011
The Long Surrender is the latest album from Over The Rhine which is at its core a husband and wife band that feels very much a part of Americana music. The wife’s singing while her husband plays piano, guitar or bass coupled with minimal production the entire album feels like it could be an intimate live recording. It is a very easy album to get completely drawn into the beautiful vocals, the casual, mellow guitar, it is simply irresistible as a whole.
The album seems to flirt with every genre and time period under the sun without committing to a single thing, which feels like a double-edged sword. This music is hard to define given that it is has a little bit of country; little bit of rock, little bit of jazz and a lot of rhythm and blues. It is an enjoyable mixture but it is hard to define and the album feels a bit disjointed with no real theme other than paying homage to all the styles listened previously. However, this is a superficial flaw in an extremely beautiful album.
“Infamous Love Song” is a wonderful rock and rhythm hybrid that is filled with attitude and lyrically feels a bit like a more underground Regina Spektor track. It shows the wonderful range of the singer and the timeless vibe of the band as a whole. It is definitely a must download track on the album.
“There’s A Bluebird In My Heart” is a down-tempo track that feels straight out of a lounge in the 40′s or 50′s. It is a hard track not to love because it has so much jazz and soul behind it coupled with the minimalist backing it feels like a breath of fresh air. It is amazing to hear the lead singers voice in a music industry where everything feels over produced and pitch perfect thanks to auto-tune.
“Soon” opens in a bluesy fashion with a simple melody that slowly builds behind some wonderful singing and powerful lyrics. Lyrically it might be the best track on the album because of its repetition of the word soon coupled with the intimate style of the singer it is hard not to feel drawn into her words, which definitely has a seductive quality behind them.
The Long Surrender is a beautiful album that is extremely hard to put into words. Americana as a music genre is hard to define; it is made worse by the fact that it often feels like the antithesis of modern music. It is if anything raw, slightly under produced, and it relies on a lead singer that sounds human, not pitch perfect. After listening to this album long enough it is hard not to dread turning on the radio and hearing auto-tune butcher everyone into sterile perfection. This album deserves a serious chance for anyone who is a fan of good music, and might want to dabble into music that just isn’t their norm.