Changes Come

On Changes Come, Over the Rhine sounds like a band playing their last concert, pouring every last ounce of energy and passion into making these songs as brilliant as they can be. The result is a performance so intense, soulful, soaring, and astonishing that it will make everyone hope this is actually not the end, but the beginning.

It was just over a year ago now that I saw Over the Rhine at Cornerstone take the stage in the company of multi-instrumentalist Paul Moak, bass player Rick Plant, and drummer Will Sayles. I’ve seen them several times, but what happened there felt like defying gravity. They became something new, ferocious, and beautiful on that Fourth of July, while the fireworks exploded outside the tent.This recording, thank goodness, captures the energy of that performance at an unlisted stop along the tour soon after.

The set list for the album is, of course, shorter than the real show, but their selections are perfect. Highlights: Well, where do I start? The whole album is a highlight. This has immediately become, for me, the essential Over the Rhine album. It’s the one in which Karin Bergquist’s voice reaches new heights, and the band pushes the songs into spacious new territory. It’s the peak of the band’s career, and we can only hope it’s a sign of things to come.

Here’s the set list:

01. Spinning -faster, but just as intense as before.

02. Show Me -a bolder rock and roll version

03. She – Karen wrings this thing till it’s dry.

04. Nobody #1 – “This is the way ladies in Ohio rap.”

05. Suitcase – A real heartbreaker.

06. Lifelong Sunshine – Karin’s brilliant, Linford and Paul duel for solos, and “Lifelong Fling” segues into a fiery version of “Ain’t No Sunshine”

07. Ohio – Karin sings this much more forcefully than on the source album.

08. All I Need Is Everything – Even better.

09. The World Can Wait – You won’t believe this version. It rivals the best live stuff of U2.

10. When I Go – It’s their “Love is Blindness.”

11. B.P.D. – An encore that comes on like gangbusters.

12. Cruel and Pretty – A dreamy Chagall painting in sound.

13. Changes Come – You may not have what it takes to get through this.


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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • bobbie

    me too – thanks for the head’s up. i’ve listening to the ‘poopsmith mp3 at the moment – i’m sure that one would rock out live! :)

  • Beth

    Well, that’s it. I’m sold.