"The Innocence Mission is one of my favorite bands, and, though it's hard to choose, Umbrella is probably my favorite album by them. In an age that seems to prize the vulgar, ugly, stupid, crass, noisy, overhyped and famous, they make music that is graceful, beautiful, thoughtful, reflective, and that celebrates the goodness of faith and of normal, everyday life. The sound is comprized primarily of Don Peris's sometimes swirling and lush, sometimes sparse and delicate guitars, and the lilting, almost elfin voice of wife Karen. These combine with a solid rythm section of drums and bass to create songs that are sometimes explosive burst of joy ("And Hiding Away"), sometimes driving and anthemic ("Now In This Hush"), and sometimes hushed and quiet ("Someday Coming" and "Revolving Man"). Some songs also feature a piano as the primary instrumental accompaniment, ("My Waltzing Days Are Over" and the title track). The lyrics tend towards reflections and affirmations on the joys, trials, worries and goodness of everyday life in songs like "Sorry and Glad Together", "Evensong", and "Revolving Man", or religious reflections in songs like "Every Hour Here" and "Now in this Hush". Karen also write about her own inner struggles and personal fears in songs like "Someday Coming" and the title track. There are times when the music seems to perfectly capture the essence of what the lyrics are saying. One song where this is especially the case is "Revolving Man", where a simple repetitively picked guitar part actually gives the feeling of revolving. I have often described the band as living up to it's name because their music seems to capture a quality of innocence and purity of spirit that is hard to find in the cynical and overly sophisticated world of popular culture. This album is great place to first encounter this wonderful band."
Truly an awesome album, not my favorite of theirs, tho'.
D. Lahue | Charlottesville, VA USA | 06/17/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this CD when I couldn't find their first one, "Innocence Mission" in the store. I had to own Karen's awesome voice. Yes, this is a great album but if you are buying your first one get THEIR first one. I have it on tape and will buy it today before the tape breaks and I go through withdrawl!"
It just blows me away!
Schoonman@aol.com | New Jersey, USA | 01/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just saw Innocence Mission in NYC. It was my second time seeing them. A few conclusions from the show: they are amazing! they sound perfect in concert! "Every Hour Here" is the greatest song they have written! Just look at these lyrics: "You are like the ticket-half I find inside the pocket of my old leaf-raking coat"-- Karen ParisIt's lyrics like this that make all the music we hear on the radio seem worthless. If you are looking for inspiring music that moves you, give the Innocence Mission a listen."
Richard E. Young | In Any Town, USA | 05/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A second cup of grace provides growth, maturity, and confidence for the Innocence Mission: a band too few have recognized as a truly great core of musicians -- creating art while advancing a Christ-like steadiness through the sweet noise of music. The early phase of exploitation is captured by A&M: these years are exceptionally deserving. While the self-titled album is a classic unto itself?I feel it lacks some maturity ? compared to ?Umbrella? which by the way uncorked a fresh audience: a fan base greatly devoted, known as ?Missionaries.? The most cherished, and exceedingly visible pearls are: A. Every Hour Here B. Sorry And Glad Together C. Flags D. And Hiding Away
All tracks, every one, transcend pop or folk rock: as the lyrics are communicating a worldview that is inclusive, encouraging, and in all directions charming. Some may feel the disc is overproduced: in my view it is not. I feel the Glow while top-notch, is slightly less effective when compared to Umbrella. Umbrella is like a journey in which, we discover a warm friendship, accompanying a few of life?s ups and Downs along the way. Umbrella can cover with beauty, what more can listeners ask?
Karen Peris sings in an easily perceptible manner and feelingly ? plus, the drums are put on display, unlike the more recent releases: it seems the band is customarily without a drummer these days.
If you like good music, Umbrella is a delicacy, and you should possess it to complete your music collection. It was my introduction to the band: let it be yours
-- Rich Young "
Excellent lyrics, vocals, and music
Richard E. Young | 09/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is a truly unique work of art. It has the ability to move you emotionally. You can listen to this CD over and over, and never tire of it. One of the best CD's out there."