What’s your favorite Innocence Mission song? If you have one, post a comment. I’ll share a few of mine, but first I encourage you to zip over to Christ and Pop Culture to read my impressions of what turns out to be a sort of 30th anniversary record for the band — which, according to Wikipedia, first formed in 1985 (even though we didn’t get a real record until 1989).

From today’s new installment of “Listening Closer”:

Lyrics about hope and comfort and the promises of God are so prevalent, so primary, so routine in Christian music that they feel like cheap sentiments, tired mantras, easy answers. They’re sentimental. They make believers feel good for their familiarity. We like to hear what we agree with, what comes easily, what lacks any complication or challenge. But the ultimate effect of such sing-alongs tends to be slight and fleeting, their influence insubstantial, for they do not acknowledge or reckon with the persistent reality of this present darkness, of the discouragements and fears and horrors that make us all acquainted with despair.

And that, class, is why we need The Innocence Mission.

So, here are a few of my favorite tracks spanning 30 years. And wow, it’s surprising just what an ’80s band they were when they got started:

“Mercy,” from The Innocence Mission

“Revolving Man,” from Umbrella

“Now In This Hush,” from Umbrella

“Bright as Yellow,” from Glow

“Everything’s Different Now,” from Glow

“It Is Well With My Soul,” from Christ is My Hope and from Now the Day is Over

“Birdless,” from Birds of My Neighborhood.

“July,” from Birds of My Neighborhood.

“I Haven’t Seen This Day Before,” from Birds of My Neighborhood.

 

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