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Friday, November 23, 2007

Reviews:: Over the Rhine Snow Angels

Well, it's the day after US Thanksgiving, so like the malls we are jumping headlong into the holidays.

Admittedly, I'm kind of a Scrooge when it comes to the holidays. I never used to wrap gifts (until Nic decided I was ruining the holiday by not wrapping hers) and often gave my gifts weeks in advance in a bag or partially closed box and really the only xmas music I bothered with was Boney M.

That changed this year with the national (re-)release of Over the Rhine's holiday record, Snow Angels. They are such a fantastic duo - as evidenced by this review of The Trumpet Child - and are able to write holiday songs that you could listen to all year long (and I'm not talking about those painful soundtracks played in those Airport stores that celebrate Christmas 24/7/365). The reason why? Well aside from the amazing skill of Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist's beautiful voice, it's the fact Snow Angels is a completely fresh take on the holiday season.

Instead of tales of love peace on earth and all of that jibber jabber, OtR's Xmas xperiment is full of depression, loneliness, the hope things will get better, and hints of sexuality. The mature themes are more accurate and fit in nicely with the jazzy arrangements.

The record opens with All I Ever Get For Christmas is Blue, and Karin croons about real seasonal depression, missing the one you love as you sit alone during the Holidays. It's probably a little more accurate for adults, and especially for bloggers. Darling is a track full of tears and hoping the New Year can bring something new, something to keep you going. Like the music they always deliver, OtR's holiday fare is real and beautiful. I mean, aside from a high quality title for an xmas skin flick, North Pole Man is a raunchy little jazz number about more than mistletoe.

I also have to say, their tribute to the Peanut's Holiday special - Goodbye Charles - while not as fantastic as Vince Guaraldi's, should make it onto anyone's holiday play list.
MP3:: Goodbye Charlie
MP3:: All I Ever Get For Christmas Is Blue

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Posted at 11:32 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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