Ohio-based indie folk stalwarts Over the Rhine deliver the evocatively titled Blood Oranges in the Snow, their thirteenth studio album and third holiday-themed release. Similar to 2006's Snow Angels, this is not a rehash of seasonal favorites but rather a contemporary take on what the band refers to as "Reality Christmas" music. Acoustic guitars, piano, and pedal steel carry these thoughtful Americana tunes, which pit the search for joy and celebration against the backdrop of a troubled world. A few well-chosen covers, like Merle Haggard's "If We Make It Through December," are scattered throughout the album, but most of these songs are new originals by husband & wife duo Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist. Warm-hearted with hints of darkness, Blood Oranges is more than just another Christmas album, and features plenty of the kind of high-quality material that the band is known for.
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