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Album Review

With 2003's Befriended, the Innocence Mission continue the organic, supremely tasteful folk-pop first crafted on 1999's Birds of My Neighborhood. Added to the wood-and-glass aesthetic are occasional traces of ambient synth strings, or a sun-soaked, delirious vibrato guitar. Lyrics of timorous optimism and familial devotion are woven into cascades of upright bass, brushes and tambourine, the tinkling ghost of a piano, and the snowy hollow-body electric guitar of Don Peris. Primary songwriter Karen Peris' impeccable sense of melody is carried out by her distinct voice, one of delicate timbre and piercing purity. The mood ranges from the breezy continental jazz of "When Mac Was Swimming" to the stark, tragic poeticism of the minor-keyed "I Never Knew You From the Sun"; the yearning, masterful chord changes of "Martha Avenue Love Song" to the sorrowfully patriotic love of "Look for Me as You Go By" at the album's resolution. "No Storms Come" is reprised (technically re-released) from the 2000 devotional collection Christ Is My Hope. As usual, quality and individuality suffuse all angles of this installation to the Innocence Mission catalog. ~ Lisa M. Smith, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Befriended

This album is fantastic. I've had in on my iPod for years and always come back to it. The whole album is great with the exception of a couple of slower songs that I pass over. I have most of their stuff and it never disappoints. The Sundays would be a good comparison for who they sound like. Great fat reverby guitar sound.

Say whaaa?

There's a Dirty Lyrics version of this album? A naughty IM record??

Good stuff

This album is really growing on me. Nothing real new or cutting edge but they do what they do very well. Maybe The Sundays meet Norah Jones in an acoustic set?

Biography

Formed: 1982 in Lancaster, PA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Centered around the husband-and-wife songwriting team of Don Peris (vocals, guitar) and Karen Peris (vocals, guitar, piano), Lancaster, PA natives the Innocence Mission crafted a tasteful, politically correct brand of collegiate folk-pop similar to Sarah McLachlan or 10,000 Maniacs (in fact, the Perises appeared on Natalie Merchant's 1998 album Ophelia). With a rhythm section composed of bassist Mike Bitts and drummer Steve Brown, the Innocence Mission released their eponymous debut album in 1989;...
Full Bio