Sunday, June 03, 2007

The best reason for midnight ever invented. Ever.

The Innocence Mission
We Walked in Song
Badman Recording Co.

Rating: Seven Soft Kisses on Fragrant Downy Pillows

The Innocence Mission are a much-loved band to my near-sweltering ears. At least they would be if it were hot right now. And yet because of fabulous inventions like screens and windows, it's not. This album, however, is hot as hell. At least, as hot as hell as a folk album can be.

Don't ever let it be said that the Innocence Mission are inconsistent. They are (as a matter of fact) anything but. Since 1999, they've released five fantastic recording of majestic folk-pop. No one album blows the others away, though there are standouts. And no one album falls flat, though Christ Is My Hope just might if you're not into Sacred Hymns (I am). We Walked in Song offers more of the same consistency, with just the right amount of dreamy guitar-work, understated bass lines, unobtrusive percussion and wonderful Karen Peris-ness. Mrs Peris' vocals might be an acquired taste to some, but not this Yankee cowboy. Her own stand-out has to be "Into Brooklyn, Early in the Morning", which boasts vocal "Ba-Ba-Bop-Bas" from hubby Don (who doubles as guitarist for the band) and some wickedly delicate accordion as well. I guarantee you this: you will not hear a better "Ba-Ba-Bop-Ba" on any other record of 2007, 2008 or 2009.

Many of the Innocence Mission's songs could double as lullabies, but don't let that fool you. There's a quiet intensity on tracks like "Since I Still Tell You My Every Day" and "Over the Moon" that will freaking break your heart. I guess words like "bittersweet" or "wistful" come to mind (guess who needs a thesaurus!), but those could be used for a hundred other bands. The Innocence Mission deserve a genre all their own....and maybe a gold record or two, were this 1972. Alas, it's not. So I guess we get this amazing little band all to ourselves. O America! If only you knew what you were missing!

Yes, Karen. I'm over the moon as well.
The Innocence Mission's MySpace

Video for "I Never Knew You From the Sun,"
from the album Befriended

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