The Band Perry's second studio album, "Pioneer," was released Tuesday, and it's quite the trailblazer for the American country music group.
Similar to film director Tim Burton, The Band Perry puts an interesting twist on the darker aspects of love and life. With "Pioneer," Kimberly Perry and her brothers, Reid and Neil, blend innocent and sinister in brilliant new ways.
The trio's sophomore album spotlights how talented they've become as songwriters (the band co-wrote nine of the 12 tracks) and how creative they can be with arrangements.
The Band Perry uses banjos among other string instruments to create a down-to-earth foundation on tracks like the No. 1 country hit, "Better Dig Two." This track puts a whole new spin on "I do," which is both sweet and creepy. Premiered on the CMA Awards, this song can be summed up with the term "Southern Gothic."
The band keeps the sass alive in the No. 23 single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, "Done," where bitter Kimberly Perry warns her unworthy suitor that, "You play with dynamite/ Don't be surprised when I blow up in your face."
The newest album is relentlessly feisty, which "Chainsaw" proves without a doubt. The song describes a chainsaw that is taken to a tree bearing a heart and initials from two lovers' childhood.
Needless to say, The Band Perry is a force to be reckoned with, something that "Pioneer" highlights quite well.
The title track of the album is much like the plot twist in a movie — it is not what fans might expect. "Pioneer" seems like a bluegrass number because of the harmonies and instrumentation, but actually nods to an '80s rock ballad.
Another catchy song, "Forever Mine Nevermind," also has an '80s rock vibe that will wake people up. If they listen closely, fans can hear Queen's influence on this track, considering that it is one of the most dramatic arrangements on the album.
Producer Dann Huff has every reason to be proud of The Band Perry. The vocals alone are enough to praise. Kimberly's lead vocal echoes with pain and anguish in "Back to Me Without You," while Neil and Reid's harmonies help make this performance soar.
Kimberly also exudes vocal prowess and confidence on ballads like "Don't Let Me Be Lonely" and "Night Gone Wasted," a song reminiscent of Shania Twain at her peak.
Although "Pioneer" is fierce and takes no prisoners, it's not merely doom and gloom. Certain tracks leave listeners with that feel good attitude that music tends to bring out.
If fans seek to make mothers around the world shed tears of joy, "Mother Like Mine" will hit the nail on the head. This song is a heartfelt piece inspired by the trio's mother herself and is perfect for a sentimental Mother's Day.
A more traditional love song on the album is "I Saw the Light," which details the sparks that fly when a person meets the "One." The harmonies on this track are what really make this song pop.
The album closes with "End of Time." This number is rich with dramatic arrangements and lyrics, which leaves the listener raving for the next album.
It's not a fluke, and it's not luck. The Band Perry is gaining success with its second album.
Watch out, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood — the competition has arrived.