There's drama in Give Me Strength right from the outset. In the intro the droning chords, simple drumbeat and ominous electric guitar riff set up an intense atmosphere, which is maintained by the grungy guitar strums that lead into the verse.
Dischordant, eerie electronic warbles appear amongst the brooding guitars and vocals, half-way through the first verse and again at the end. Going into the bridge they give way to rumbling guitar, joined in the chorus by lurking, offbeat percussion, that sounds like steel drums heard through an unnaturally heavy fog.
All of this accompaniment is offset by Over the Rhine's usual country-esque singing. The vocals come to the fore going into the second chorus, when the instrumental melody recedes, its echo lingering, as a swirling ambience swells to engulf the resonating vocals. All of this noise is carried into and throughout the second chorus. It all disappears in an instant as the final line is sung, a cappella, and resonates into the silence.
When I first heard the song, I thought it was Dido singing; it's not, but she does share a writing credit.
So she's not entirely awful. If you download one song this week, make it Give Me Strength. Stay tuned.