Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Album Review: The Band Perry

Obvious talent is displayed on The Band Perry's debut album.  Neil and Reid Perry show fine musicianship on the mandolin and bass, and Kimberly Perry proves herself to be a strong and capable frontwoman.  Her vocals are focused and controlled, but also show a raw emotional quality.

One of the album's most appealing characteristics is its unique musical stylings that mix pop melodies with traditional country and bluegrass instrumentation.  The album is heavy on fiddles, banjos, and mandolins from start to finish.  It's clearly not strictly traditional, but it manages to have a pleasant back-porch atmosphere while still sounding modern.  Thanks to gorgeous production, strong vocals, and engaging melodies, The Band Perry's debut is a pure sonic treat to listen to.

The Perry siblings share songwriting credits on many of the album's tracks, and in a few places it becomes noticeable that they are still honing their craft in songwriting.  The lyrics of lead single "Hip to My Heart," though undeniably catchy, are mostly pure fluff.  The current single "If I Die Young" is full of vividly interesting word pictures, but there is a lack of connection in the song as a whole.  But while in some aspects there is some lyrical fine-tuning in order, the lyrics remain interesting without resorting to tired cliches. 

One of the strongest tracks on the album is the bitter "Miss You Being Gone," in which the narrator lets her ex-lover know in no uncertain terms that their relationship is hopelessly unsalvageable.  In "Postcard from Paris," she uses a variety of colorful examples to describe her realization that her current lover is merely a substitute for the man she left behind.  Though the radio releases thus far have mainly been among the album's weaker moments, many of the non-single tracks display remarkable songwriting potential.

Though it's not perfect, The Band Perry's debut announces the arrival of some of Nashville's strongest newcomers.  It is a fine introduction to a talented new act, and a well-crafted effort that could hardly be more charming.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)