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Kip Moore
Pioneer The Band Perry | Pioneer
Hayley Holmes

Album name: Pioneer
Label: Republic Nashville/Big Machine Label Group
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Rating: 4.0 out of 5

Review written by: Luanne Lim

2010 marked the beginning of success for the group of singing siblings, The Band Perry. The Tennessee raised-band emerged into mainstream radio with their hit, “If I Die Young,” featured on their self-titled debut album. The single earned the trio numerous American Music Award nominations and a Grammy nom.  

Three years after going platinum with their self-titled album, The Band Perry released their follow-up album, Pioneer. Featuring songs covering topics from make-ups to break-ups, and even a nice ballad to their mother, Pioneer is a good listen.

… and that statement means a lot, especially coming from one who isn’t exactly an avid listener of country music.

Kicking off the album is “Better Dig Two.” The song speaks of “a girl whose only crutch was loving one man just a little too much.” Kimberly Perry sings of going above and beyond traditional wedding vows – sticking with her husband even when it comes to death. The girl in the song clearly could not live without her husband, even if “that ring gets a little too tight, might as well read me my last rites…”

The second track is titled “DONE.” Performed live on this past weekend’s Academy of Country Music Awards, this song is completely opposite of the previous track. In complete juxtaposition with the theme of “Better Dig Two,” “DONE.” expresses the intense desire to be through with being the “second choice.” The song is ridiculously catchy. Its funky beat, guitar solo and sassy lyrics make for a great track.

Tracks three and four both feature the softer side of Kimberly Perry’s voice. The tempo slows to an almost lullaby speed….causing my interest to wane as the drowsiness settled in. Track three “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely,” is self-explanatory, while “Pioneer,” has a more complex story. I found “Pioneer” to be a homage to those who face adventure and the unknown without hesitation and to the troopers who continue on despite what life throws at them.

The shift back to fast-tempo, sassy, break-up songs begins with “Forever Mine Nevermind.”  The intro to track five is an interesting chorus of “na na na’s.” The singer feels remorse for placing her trust in the fella who “said forever” but didn’t realize “forever was a long, long time.” She concludes the verbal beat down of her now ex with the statement: “the best day of my life was on the day that I lost you.”   

Need a Friday night party song? “Night Gone Wasted” is the song to turn up. This song is all about having fun after a stressful, irritating week. No regrets, no holding back. Just getting wasted and having a great, crazy night.

Slowing things down again is “I Saw A Light” and ballad to their mother, “Mother Like Mine.” These slow-paced tracks appealed more to me than the other two. “I Saw A Light” chronicles “falling in love.” From the signs one sees when finding “the one,” like seeing the light and hearing bells upon locking eyes with said person, to finding the courage to speak to him or her, the song encompasses it all with nice instrumentals and backing vocals from the Perry brothers. “Mother Like Mine” is obviously dedicated to mothers, more specifically, the Perrys’ mother. The song contains great attributes and metaphors about mothers that listeners can see in their own mother. It is truly a heartfelt ballad, written and recorded with a lot of love.

There’s just something about exacting revenge or physically dealing with an ex-lover that makes for great songs. “Chainsaw,” is one of said songs. The ninth track of Pioneer declares attack on a tree where the woman scorned and her ex carved their names, proclaiming, “I ain’t gonna be happy ‘til those names fall and I’m sitting on a stump.”  After hearing that verse, it’s safe to assume the relationship did not end well. After all: “Love is shady. Love is tragic. It’s hard to bury the hatchet… holding a chainsaw.”

“I’m A Keeper” is the country version of Kelly Clarkson’s “Miss Independent.” The song describes a woman who isn’t like all the other heartbreaking blondes and blue eyes. Rather, she is a brown-eyed girl who can live with or without a man by her side. Kimberly Perry proudly exclaims, “I’m doing my own thing!” And indeed she is.

Concluding the album are soft songs, “Back to Me Without You” and “End of Time.” Both deal with post-breakup situations. “Back to Me Without You” is about the slow, sometimes painful recovery and rediscovering of yourself after ending a relationship. “End of Time” seems to be about potentially saving a doomed relationship. The singer ends with a plea to her significant other to “come home and be mine.”

Though I, personally, am not a country music girl, I found myself enjoying The Band Perry’s second release, even tapping my foot along to the beat of “Better Dig Two,” “DONE.” and other up-tempo songs. I found myself favoring the songs geared more towards break-ups or bad relationships because of the witty lyrics and the sass in Kimberly Perry’s tone. Pioneer nicely features the talents of the Perry siblings, whether it be songwriting, playing multiple instruments and singing. Whether you’re recently out of a relationship, just starting one or just dig country music, definitely pick this album up.
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