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innocence mission - My Room in the Trees

  by Andy Cassidy

published: 23 / 7 / 2011

innocence mission - My Room in the Trees
Label: Balman Records
Format: CD


Poetic and ultimately spiritually uplifting eighth album from Pennyslvanian band, the innocence mission.

From the opening line of the first track, 'Rain (Setting Out in the Leaf Boat)', “This dress that I made out of curtains was on the line, dancing around better than I can,” there is a real sense of poetry to this, the eighth studio album from Pennsylvania’s the innocence mission. Lyrically, the album has an impressionistic feel, somewhere between Kate Bush and Joanna Newsom in whimsy and romance. There are also strong hints of the more tender moments of Karen O’s soundtrack for 'Where the Wild Things Are'. With the exception of 'Mile-Marker', every track was written or co-written by vocalist Karen Peris, and this lends a continuity of mood to proceedings. Her vocals are assured, and delivered with genuine feeling. Listening to the album, I was reminded of the Cranberries’ 'Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?' – percussive acoustic guitars playing over sweeping strings, piano or pump organ and a gentle, lilting vocal. The two instrumental tracks, 'Mile-Marker' (written by Karen Peris’ husband and guitarist Don) and 'The Melendys Go Abroad' manage to be slightly quirky without deviating from the overall feel of the album. On the first listen, I was struck by an air of melancholy, the musical equivalent of a washed-out, watercolour cartoon, but with each subsequent play, a message of hope and triumph prevail. There are flashes of lyrical brilliance, with everyday situations transformed into poignant and uplifting affirmations of mindfulness. 'God is Love' is a wonderfully uplifting spiritual affirmation. Lyrically, the song echoes George Harrison’s 'My Sweet Lord', and revels in the wonders of the commonplace – when Karen Peris sings, “Rain or shine, this street of mine is golden,” it is clear that she is on certain ground when it comes to her faith and is entirely comfortable singing about it. The album closes with the excellent 'Shout for Joy', and it is difficult to imagine a more fitting closing track. Certainly this album never rises above a soft and subtle whisper, but its overall message of profound joy is beautifully expressed. All things considered, this is a confident and understated album with flashes of real beauty. This is an album that I can see myself coming back to again and again, and I look forward to finding something new with each listen.

Track Listing:-
1 Rain (Setting Out In The Leaf Boat)
2 The Happy Mondays
3 God Is Love
4 Gentle The Rain At Home
5 Spring
6 All The Weather
7 Rhode Island
8 North American Field Song
9 Mile-Marker
10 The Leaves Lift High
11 I'd Follow If I Could
12 The Melendys Go Abroad
13 Shout For Joy

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