Over the Rhine

Patience

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AllMusic Review by

Bohemian affectation hangs over this album like a miasma. From the genuine Rockwell Kent engravings that illustrate the booklet, to singer Karin Bergquist's super-refined chest voice and the (grammatically incorrect) French song title, everything about this album screams intellectualism. Usually that kind of attitude leads to solipsistic lyrics and music that dares you to try to listen, but not in this case. Even when the melodies are fairly abstract (as on "Il Est dans Mon Poche" and the diaphanous "I've Been Slipping") the songs draw you in. And when the hooks sink in, as they do with a vengeance on the stunning "How Does It Feel (To Be on My Mind)," the effect can be quite intense. Guitarist Ric Hordinski and bassist/lyricist Linford Detweiler seem to be the primary architects of the band's sound, that sound being an airy but complex edifice composed of subtly complicated guitar parts and harmonically advanced but self-effacing basslines. Bergquist's voice flutters inside that structure guided by Brian Kelley's gently insistent drumming. Listening to the whole album in one sitting lends one a feeling of inexplicable cleansing.

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