The melancholic and summery music style of The Innocence Mission has always provided a great landing spot for folk-enthused fans. Throughout their ten titles (including the newest addition on which this review is based), the nucleus of the band – chiefly Karen Peris, and followed by her husband Don Peris, and Mike Bitts (bass guitar) – have written solid tunes in which to reward their fans for their love.  The Innocence Mission have filled their legacy with reliably beautiful songs,

On their latest, Sun On The Square, the band has delivered a strong set of ten new songs that include the gem of the package, “Green Bus”. (When a 9-year old continues to ask for a replay of “Green Bus”, you know something is inherently right and transcendent with the song craft of The Innocence Mission!) With those songs, I’ve found an comforting ease that Karen’s voice supplies the quite human lyrics she writes. Her words are lovely in their quilted manner.

Sun On the Square is largely an album of new observations. The songs are softly offered, like a wanted walk in a tranquil setting. Listening to this new album, I have thoughts of ’60s-era NYC. Bustling but with a beauty not yet touched by crime, hatred, and disintegration of time and age. Karen is no stranger to the love of  better place. This album is a gem, start to finish. Having said that, it is “Green Bus” that keeps you entranced.

If you’re an Innocence Mission fan, then this is an easy pick-up. It adds wonderfully to the expanding body of their music making it an essential.


By MARowe