“I don’t want to waste your time with music you don’t need,” Karin Bergquist, lead singer of Over the Rhine, declares at the start of The Trumpet Child, the Cincinnati-based band’s 18th full-length album. She’s not joking, either. Bergquist has never really been a shy singer, but up until recent years, she wouldn’t be classified as what she is now: confident.
And that’s what The Trumpet Child is, from the flirty “Trouble” and “I’m On a Roll” to the guarded optimism in “Who’m I Kiddin’ But Me” and “Entertaining Thoughts”—the happy-go-lucky batch of songs burns its own path and never gets lost. The songwriting of Linford Detweiler is smart, the vocals of Bergquist sexy and smoky, creating a sometimes jazzy feel that has a simple agenda—to have fun. They ponder, at the end of the disc, if a song could be President; I’d like to proudly nominate any of these 11 trumpet children to conquer that job.