Over the last year or so, I’ve heard so many of my friends turn their focus of music interest from your typical mainstream pop towards more independent folk/rock music. Perhaps it’s partially the group of friends I hang out with but the reality is that once you’ve figured out how pop music is systematically churned out, there’s an urge break free from the monotonous music made mostly with bells and cymbals but with no content. So two weeks ago, my good friend highly recommended a group by the name of Over the Rhine (OTR, for short). And trusting his taste in music, I purchased their Ohio album, a double-CD album that has left me wondering where I’d be without it.
Good songs don’t invent new melodies, but puts skin and flesh to the ones that we have subconsciously known all along. And that’s what Karin Berquist & Linford Detweiler do so well, over and over and over. Melodies that haunt and linger for days after you’ve listened. You can listen to it and fall asleep, and you can listen to one song over and over again to try and understand the meaning behind the song.
I had my doubts when I first purchased it, because folk/rock/country genre isn’t my thing, but after listening to it a few more times, the melodies and words begin to permeate your mind and echo in your head long after you’ve turned off your iPod. Unlike most albums that have 2 or 3 hit songs, this album doesn’t really have any “radio friendly” songs, but the content and presentation of so many beautifully written songs together sets them apart. It has been a long time since an album has kept me intrigued for so long.
I haven’t even started about her voice yet. Karin’s got a touch of Sheral Crow, Sixpence, and more, rolled into one set of vocal cords. What i really enjoy about listening to her is are the inflections she so musically blends with the lyrics. And like the accompanying instruments on the album, they’re understated, leaving room for the audience to draw their own conclusions without having it shoved down our throats. The recordings aren’t rigid, and flow very naturally from one note to the other.
So in conclusion, go have a listen. You won’t be disappointed. And you might have Karin haunting your mind as well.
Rating: 4.5/5 – This album has more magic than Harry Potter. Definite keeper.