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We Walked in Song


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Audio CD, March 13, 2007
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We Walked in Song + My Room in the Trees + Birds of My Neighborhood
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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The Innocence Mission started out as something of a shoegazer band in the late 1980s, but midway through their life they've taken on an even more introspective and intimate tone. Like guitarist Don Peris's solo album, Go When the Morning Shineth, this sounds like it could have been recorded in somebody's parlor a century ago, with just Mike Bitts on basses and Karen and Don Peris on guitars and keyboards. And when I say keyboards, I don't mean synthesizers, but pump organs, Hammond organs, and piano, the instruments of bygone years. They often hover like dusty ghosts in the background of songs that read like diary entries. The most modern this album gets is a quaint, late '50s pop-ballad ambience on tunes like "Lake Shore Drive" and "Love That Boy," which sound like something Sandra Dee or Debbie Reynolds' would have sung--although they would never have allowed the fractured vulnerability revealed by Karen Peris. She has a voice with the fragility and sadness of a fallen autumn leaf, often intentionally breaking at the edges of her range. But We Walked in Song isn't an album of sadness--rather of quiet joy and peace of mind. The husband-and-wife team of Karen and Don Peris have been together since they were in high school, and most of Karen's songs reflect on their lives, relationships, and children. We Walked in Song isn't an album that leaps out and grabs you: it's a diary of autumnal moods that celebrates the small moments in life, and like life, quietly insinuates itself into yours. --John Diliberto

1. Brotherhood Of Man
2. Happy Birthday
3. Love That Boy
4. Into Brooklyn, Early In The Morning
5. Lake Shore Drive
6. Song For Tom
7. Since I Still Tell You My Every Day
8. A Wave Is Rolling
9. Colors Of The World
10. Over The Moon
11. My Sisters Return From Ireland

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 13, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Badman Records
  • ASIN: B000M7FO8Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,158 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By M. JEFFREY MCMAHON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
After listening to the Innocence Mission for 17 years, I've heard only 2 mediocre songs out of several dozen. Not one misfire can be found on their latest effort, which offers a spare, mellifluous, and aching, melancholy stream of excellent songs. I still think their album "Glow" is their masterpiece as the lush soundscape gives their songs a beautiful color. But for spare folk melancholy, you can't go wrong here. If you like this type of plaintive, nostalgic music, you might also want to check out Emiliana Torrini, Coastal, The Clientele, Camera Obscura, Blueboy, the Sundays, and the Trash Can Sinatras.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By T. Joseph on March 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I was introduced to the Innocence Mission when BIRDS OF MY NEIGHBORHOOD first came out. I have eagerly anticipated every new release since then and have found their musical, and lyrical abilities to have expanded and matured with time. To me, this album is a crowning masterpiece--it totally blew me away the first time I listened to it. It captures raw and tender emotions that Karen, who strikes me as being gentle and restrained, honestly and accurately expresses in her music and lyrics, just as Joni Mitchell did with BLUE. From beginning to end, listening to WE WALKED IN SONG completely engages me, makes me cry, and ultimately makes me smile and hope for a better world in which people are more thoughtful of and connected with each other.

If you have the rare chance to see them in concert, do it--the warmth of their personalities and their amazing talent is even more impressive in person. They will be performing in both Philadelphia and New York in April, with hopefully more dates being added later this spring and summer.

Buy this album (and their other earlier releases) and prepare to be moved...
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Keith Abbott on March 14, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The Innocence Mission have reached a milestone with their 9th studio album, We Walked in Song, comfortably surpassing a 20-year recording span that began in 1986 with their obscurely released EP, "Tending the Rose Garden" and their self-titled debut album in 1989.

During these 20 years, their music has progressed from production heavy alterna-rock to sparsely arranged folk. And it's safe to say, with time seemingly flying by, that life events have played a significant role in defining the Innocence Mission's current signature. With Steve Brown leaving the band to manage a restaurant, to Mike Bitts and the married duo of Karen & Don Peris spending the majority of their time raising their children, it's no wonder the group has evolved as they have.

But With the joy of childbirth also comes an evitable sorrow. Badman's Dylan Magierek says,"Sometime after the passing of her father, Karen began to write some of the most beautiful and heartfelt material I have heard from the band. I believe she turned to songwriting as a way of coping with this great loss, which was compounded with the loss of her mother a few years ago, and celebrating those she loves in her life." It's these influences that culminate and live on in "We Walked in Song", an album of eleven new songs.

The album commences with "Brotherhood of Man", in which Karen speaks of connectedness to strangers in everyday moments. Her genuinely sincere lyrics flow appropriately with a facile vocal melody, which is surrounded by an intricate yet delicate web of guitars, organ and upright bass. As the album progresses however, I find "Brotherhood of Man" is often times disguised by the inherent strength of the rest of their album.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JBT on July 7, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The Innocence Mission have evolved to greatness. Starting with "Birds of my Neighborhood" the band took their "mission" in a new direction and began to document their personal lives in song with only minimal heartfelt musical arrangements. "Befriended" was indeed another triumph for the band and Karen Peris' lyrics took on new dimension and depth -- each song carefully crafted to evoke delicate emotion around joy, hope, and loss. "We Walked in Song" picks right up. The Peris' children are growing up and it is reported Karen Peris lost her father and it is all documented beautifully here in song -- "beautiful life, full of grieving" on one of the recordings best tracks "Into Brooklyn, Early in the Morning" sums up the skills of Peris' songwriting which always captures joy's partner, sorrow. The contribution of Don Peris can't be overlooked or minimized in any way for his guitar playing supports these beautiful lyrics is a way that can't be described but must be heard. "Lake Shore Drive" is vintage IM with the lyric "It seems the right time, to let go of the steep incline, of this day and to know you're mine, forever and I will be fine." All wrapped up in Don Peris gorgeous shimmering guitar playing. Hopefully fans will be lucky to hear from this band for years to come.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert E Jones on May 28, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Without a doubt, this is the Innocence Mission's most homogenic work to date. All of the songs are in the same mode, carry a similar tone, blend melodically and stylistically. Listen to the lyrics: Every single one of these songs is about Unity, or Friendship, or both.

Though the Innocence Mission really -can- rock out when they want to do so (e.g., Black Sheep Wall on their eponymous 1980s release), they CHOOSE not to in this offering. The orchestrations are simple, in line with past works Small Planes and Befriended. Karen Peris is largely unaccompanied, making much of the album feel like a delicious, confessional solo. If one were forced to name the music genre encapsulating all the tracks on this CD, it would be 'Folk'--and that would be correct, albeit an oversimplification. Nuanced and subtle, these songs are mellow in the extreme, but very surprising. How can that be?

The prior release from The Innocence Mission, Now The Day Is Over, was also very laid back. However, those tracks were Lullabies--one EXPECTS them to be serene and inspire a soporific effect. By contrast, these hymns to friendship and unity are completely unusual and unexpected. The beauty of this set includes Karen Peris' clear-as-a-bell intonations of the lyrics. One need not refer to the liner notes, to discern the unusually-selected, poetic words and phrases comprising these songs. A careful listen is all it takes--and the reward is immense. How can songs so gentle, so peaceful, surprise and delight the ears?

Take a listen for yourself--you will be surprised at your thoughts, blossoming in response.
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