Unfortunately for their fans, the Innocence Mission albums are few and far between. After the critically acclaimed 1995 album Glow, there was a four-year hiatus and a label switch before Birds of My Neighborhood. The band was composing a number of songs during that period, however, and Small Planes issues some of the ones that had been left behind. Albums of this sort are often full of juvenalia and throwaways, but this collection of unreleased songs is as good as many bands' major works. Karen Peris' voice is as ethereal as ever, and the stripped-down, hypnotic accompaniment conspires to create an introspective mood. Songs like "Migration" document the melancholy, depressive feelings that the Peris had when they were trying to conceive a child, while the self-explanatory "Some Clear Joy Is Coming" is pure innocence and blessedness. Always spiritual, but rarely preachy, the Innocence Mission have manage to produce another album that is unique and special, gentle, pure, and precious.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stacia Proefrock