Innocence Mission We Walked in Song

Some people have voices that could melt the coldest of arterial muscles. Of course, music is inherently subjective, but there are some that possess a voice so potent that only a valiant few can argue that it isn’t objectively great, or, no matter your preference, can’t feel its power. One might argue that type of voice belongs to Patsy Cline, Neko Case or hell, even Vashti Bunyan comes close. While the lead singer/songwriter here, Karen Peris, isn’t near that category, she still has an unbelievably magnetic attraction when it comes to her voice and folk-y statements. The closest equivalent would be a butterier Harriet Wheeler of the Sundays. Yet, where Peris and this album slip is in the somewhat mawkish nature of the entire endeavour. From the, uh, name of the band to titles like "Brotherhood of Man” and "Colors of the World,” things are quite earnest. However, that seems to be Peris’s intent and her lack of embarrassment seems to be the key to drawing you into her rose-tinted worldview. Both the aforementioned songs sparkle with Peris’s beautiful choruses and with the appropriately understated accompanying instrumentation. The band even branch out a bit with the gorgeous "Into Brooklyn, Early in the Morning,” with added instruments and lush harmonies. If you can overcome the awkward hippie-ness, there is much beauty here that’s worth repeated listens.

(Badman, www.badmanrecordingco.com) (Badman)