Contact Us

Album Spotlight: The Band Perry, ‘Pioneer’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

Pioneer
Republic Nashville

The Band Perry‘s new album ‘Pioneer’ is just as dramatic, yet dramatically more steady than their debut effort. The bar was raised and reached vocally, and songs like ‘Done,’ ‘Forever Mine Nevermind’ and ‘Chainsaw’ prove the family trio has lost nothing in terms of lyrical edge. 

The highs aren’t quite as high (no song matches ‘If I Die Young,’ but it’s unfair to expect that), but the lows aren’t nearly as low on this more consistent collection of songs, ripped from the lives of Neil, Reid and Kimberly. ‘Pioneer’ succeeds at peeling back a few layers of the group’s personal lives, revealing just enough to leave fans invested after a single listen.

‘Back to Me Without You’ is the most vulnerable track of the 12. Kimberly Perry says it’s about losing a “friend.” “If it’s true, home is where the heart is / I guess now I’m homeless,” she sings on this cathartic ballad that finds her brothers giving her advice during each chorus. “Slow death of a slow dance / The tailspin of a romance,” she adds at the end, leaving no doubt as to the nature of this kinship.

Throughout the album the Perry brothers are used in more creative ways than ever before. They’re less backup singers and more of a supporting chorus on songs like this inspiration and the very theatrical ‘Forever Mine Nevermind.’ While the latter feels written for Broadway (or ‘Glee!’), it’s very effective and a ton of fun. One can almost see the choreography as Kimberly scorns her lover. “You piece of dirt / I trusted you,” she shouts before a brilliant final couplet: “The south lost the battle and children lose their youth / The best day of my life was on the day that I lost you.

Other themes on ‘Pioneer’ include totally rad ’80s production on songs like ‘Done’ and the big jam ‘I’m a Keeper.’ The arrangements are mostly upbeat, but the group explores some dark places, as one would expect. Balance is achieved on their ode to Mother Perry called ‘Mother Like Mine,’ as well as the beautiful, unencumbered love devotional ‘I Saw the Light.’

‘Pioneer’ holds no shortage of styles and surprises, even a lilting folk song in the title track. For some, this will be the highlight of the project — one can be sure very few people will agree on a favorite. The ambitious lyric shows a maturity largely unmatched by a group only two albums into a blossoming career. A few of their bold choices come rough around the edges, but the collection is more than strong enough to justify a headlining tour in 2014 — something the band is currently working on.

4 Stars

Next: Find Out Where The Band Perry Land on Our Top 100 Country Songs List

More From Cat Country

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://catcountry1029.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on Cat Country 102.9 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on Cat Country 102.9 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!