Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Band Perry, "All Your Life"

Songwriters:  Brian Henningsen, Clara Henningsen

What a beautiful arrangement!  What a sweet melody!  What a lovely performance!

Lyrics?  Kind of boring, especially considering that this is coming from The Band Perry - a sibling act who seems to thrive on off-beat lyrics.  Their past output has included death threats, images of a mother burying her daughter, as well as a few lines that made little sense, but that were fun to sing along to nonetheless.  So it comes as a bit of a disappointment that their new single "All Your Life" mostly sounds like a run-of-the-mill "wanna find true love" song with verses that ring a bit cheesy.  Example:  "Would you catch a couple thousand fireflies/ Put 'em in a lamp to light me world?"  That makes the song sound more like album filler than a potential hit single.

After two sweet-but-insubstantial verses, there's a sudden jolt to the system with a bridge that is actually interesting:  "Lately I've been writing desperate love songs/ I mostly sing them to the wall/ You could be the centerpiece of my obsession/ If you would notice me at all."  That portion of the lyric carries a much deeper emotional resonance in comparison to the paint-by-number construction of the preceding verses.

But even if the lyric is a bit wonky, "All Your Life" earns points for a light, restrained arrangement with an enjoyable helping of banjo and mandolin.  Kimberley Perry's lead vocal is restrained with a raw and unpolished quality that gives it character.  So it's an enjoyable record to listen to, even if the lyric could have been more air-tight.  Still, without a set of lyrics that's consistently interesting from start to finish, Team Perry is one base shy of a home run.

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