Earlier, I had indicated that my review of Over the Rhine’s The Trumpet Child, which arrived in stores on August 21, would be in “the next issue of Christianity Today.”

Apparently I misunderstood. I’ve just received the new issue, and the music page focuses on something different. The Over the Rhine review will be in the issue arriving in about four more weeks, for October. I’m sorry… my bad.

In the meantime, Christianity Today is offering another review of the album, one written by Russ Breimeier, on their Music page online. And that one’s available right now.

UPDATE: I’ve just received permission to share comments I’ve included in my usual arts coverage for Risen Magazine. So here’s an expanded version of that review. (And be sure to check out my film reviews in the next issue of Risen as well.) 

Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler, the musically married pair called Over the Rhine, recently moved to a property they call “Nowhere Farm” near Cincinnati. Their two dogs — Elroy and Shakey — lope gleefully about the open space, enjoying new freedom. And the songwriters themselves seem inspired too. Their ebullient new album, The Trumpet Child, finds them inspired by fresh ideas and performing with renewed fervor.

Karin’s as strong as ever, showing that she can be as sultry as Norah Jones and as spontaneously jazzy as Billie Holliday. On piano and guitar, Linford taps into deep wells of inspiring American music. He even takes the lead vocal on a hilarious tribute to Tom Waits — “Don’t Wait for Tom” — which shakes, rattles, and rolls in a way that should make the Bone Machine Master smile.

It came as no surprise to Over the Rhine’s enthusiastic fans when the pair appeared on Paste magazine’s recent list of the 100 Best Living Songwriters. But even longtime followers will be delighted by the unexpected depth of sound captured by producer Brad Jones and the textures provided by New Orleans-style horn ensembles. They’ve stripped things down to the basics, even as Karin sings about stripping down to bare skin, in “Desperate for Love.” But don’t get comfortable: “Let’s Spend the Day in Bed” starts as a jazzy, dreamy number that would have demanded a music video starring Audrey Hepburn, but half-way through it launches into the groovy synthesized textures of Zero Seven, their boldest pop maneuver since Films for Radio.

Their lyrics find them rejuvenated and hopeful. With “I Don’t Want to Waste Your Time,” they declare they’ll stick to what’s essential and redemptive. In “Trouble” — a seductive tease that Karin wrote for that fellow with the “sexy cocktail-hour stubble” — they dance a flirtatious circuit and identify themselves as “pyro-mantics.” In the album’s darkest turn, “Nothing is Innocent Now” laments the corruption of all that we should hope to trust. But then comes “The Trumpet Child,” one of Over the Rhine’s most glorious anthems, in which all darkness quakes at the approach of apocalyptic deliverance.

If the album has a flaw, it’s that fans accustomed to more generous helpings may find these 42 minutes too fleeting. And “Entertaining Thoughts,” which comes armed with radio-ready pop hooks, sounds like a side of leftover from Ohio. Still, when an album hits highs as dizzying as this, who’s complaining?

2005’s Drunkard’s Prayer was a “reconciliatory record,” manifesting the couple’s struggle at the brink of divorce. But The Trumpet Child is unapologetically romantic (even erotic) and full of gospel zeal. The closer, “If a Song Could Be President,” imagines an idyllic society governed by a high council of great American songwriters: “Neil Young would be a senator / Even though he came from Canada / Emmylou would be ambassador / World leaders would listen to her….” If such a wild dream could come true, The Trumpet Child proves that Karin and Linford belong on the Supreme Court.