The Band Perry Essay
The Band Perry, a sibling musical trio composed of Kimberly Perry and her brothers Reid and Neil, is an interesting study in contrast. Just with the first two singles, the newcomers offered a lightweight, ebullient number in “Hip to My Heart” and a sad, weighty ballad, “If I Die Young. ” And most impressively, both songs manage to fit in well on their surprisingly diverse debut album. “You Lie” is a sturdy, acoustic number that confidently and aggressively addresses an unfaithful man.The attitude is at the strongest when she suggests killing him and doing the whole world a service. Now, that’s harsh.
What makes the song work even better is the high attention to detail: she doesn’t just fling his ring off a bridge, she explicitly tells how she drives to the middle of a mile-long bridge, then flings the ring off and says that it’ll stay there until the Second Coming. The album’s first singles are in the second and third slots on the album. “Hip to My Heart” was a solid enough choice for a first single.Although Kimberly oversings just a little at points, the song is still bursting with energy and highly original lyrics (“I like your lips like I like my Coca-Cola / Oh, how it pops and fizzes”), not to mention a delightfully uncluttered banjo-and-mandolin backing. As I mentioned in the intro, “If I Die Young” is just about a total 180° from that song. Here, Kimberly (who wrote the song herself) ponders her own mortality in surprisingly clear-eyed detail that almost perfectly paints all the uncertainties of young-adulthood and how others would feel if she indeed died young.
This song has obviously resonated well at radio; it debuted the same week that “Hip to My Heart” fell from the charts, and is already a gold single. Don’t be surprised if it ends up a dark horse #1 hit. A bouncy melody drives the sweet “All Your Life,” which uses slightly off-center imagery such as sand in one’s hands and firefly lamps to illustrate how she doesn’t want anything other than “to be the only girl you love all your life.
” It also offers an interesting look into the obsessive nature of her love with a lyric about singing desperate love songs to the wall.Although Kimberly, who seems to be the main songwriter, has a solid command of the language, she sometimes falls into a Clint Black-esque trap of getting so wrapped up in the turns of phrase that the storyline gets a little ensnarled; however, even when these pitfalls occur, the songwriting is still quite impressive. The songs are vaguely reminiscent of Taylor Swift’s exuberance, lyrical detail and boy-craziness, not to mention her way with a catchy melody.What sets The Band Perry apart, though, is Kimberly’s sweet voice slightly higher Amanda Wilkinson (really, it’d make perfect sense if The Band Perry covered “26 Cents” and/or “Fly (The Angel Song)”). Her voice is also matched perfectly to an uncluttered, mostly acoustic production that’s clean without being slick. With a rapidly-building fanbase, a hot single scaling the charts, and a tight level of songwriting and musicianship, The Band Perry is sure to take off with its first album.