Pioneer, the latest release from superstar country trio The Band Perry is one of 2013’s best new country music records. The dozen tracks that make up the band’s sophomore album are comprised primarily of the ups and downs of love. Though, there are some songs that sail into other realms such as the tribute to mothers that is ‘Mother Like Mine’ and the album’s title track. The album’s simplistic lyrical side set next to its equally fun musical side makes this an album that makes The Band Perry more than just a country act. It makes the band just as much a viable force in the world of pop music, too. And odds are that at this rate, it will be for some time, too.
The first two songs taken from Pioneer are prime examples of what makes the album work so well. It all starts out with a song about a semi-homicidal woman that believed her “only crutch was loving one man just a little too much.” There are those that would try to argue this song is rather dark and that it takes the whole theme of a woman scorned a bit far. But those that know their music history will recall quite the similarity to a certain older song about one Frankie and Johnny. Frankie caught Johnny cheating on her and shot him much as vocalist Kimberly Perry lightly hints her character would do, too. Keeping this in mind, the song’s lyrical content seems not as dark. The song’s musical side partnered with its lyrical side collectively shows why this was an obvious choice for the album’s lead single. Much the same can be said of the album’s second song, ‘DONE.’
‘Done’ is an interesting follow-up to ‘Better Dig Two’ because it is a total contrast to that song in every sense. Whereas the prior of the two songs was dark and moody, this song is more up-tempo and liberating for lack of better wording. ‘DONE.’ sees a figure that is actually glad to be rid of an unfaithful partner. Ms. Perry sings proudly in the song, “Mama always told me that I should play nice/She didn’t know you when she gave me that advice/I’m through/With you/You’re one bridge I’d like to burn/Scatter the ashes/Smash the urn/I’m through with you la ti da/I don’t wanna be your just for fun/Don’t wanna be under your thumb/All I wanna be is done/Done.” Lyrics like this are not rare to today’s country music scene. That’s because female vocalists have become increasingly self-confident. It’s a nice change of pace for a female vocalist with such pride. The song’s up-tempo and almost bombastic musical styling adds to the song’s general effect, making it just as unsurprising that it was chosen as another of this album’s singles.
‘DONE.’ and ‘Better Dig Two’ are just two of the songs that make Pioneer such an easily accessible record for listeners. They’re also just two of the many songs based in the world of relationships that make up this album. For all the songs steeped in themes of love gained and lost on this record, The Band Perry also has material that breaks from that norm on that norm. One of the best of those songs is the tribute to mothers, ‘A Mother Like Mine.’ The gentle drums and guitars perfectly musically illustrate the calming feelings that mothers make us all feel. There’s even a subtle banjo part added in the background that adds its own extra flavor to the song’s musical side. The Perry siblings make the song complete as they sing in the song’s chorus, “Oh, the wars would all be over/’Cause she’d raise us all as friends/And no one would ever wonder/If somebody wanted them/We’d walk on grass that’s greener/And our cares would all be freer/If the world had a mother like mine.” This is how mothers are. Mothers love their children no matter what. They teach friendship rather than conflict. Mother’s Day might be months away, but that doesn’t matter. This is one of those songs that could apply to any mother, any time of the year. And it’s one more part of what makes Pioneer such a welcome return for The Band Perry. Pioneer is available now in stores and online. The band is taking some time off for the holidays before it launches the next leg of its worldwide “We Are Pioneers 2013-2014” tour in January. Fans can check out the band’s latest tour schedule and get all the latest news from the band online at http://www.thebandperry.com and http://www.facebook.com/thebandperry. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.