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The Band Perry

The Band Perry (full length CD) – 2010 (Universal Republic)

Reviewed by Jacquilynne Schlesier

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CDs by The Band Perry

Image-wise, the siblings of The Band Perry are aiming squarely at the youth market. Sister and lead singer Kimberly has a Taylor Swift thing going on, with big curly blonde hair, while brothers Neil and Reid could be Jonases as easily as Perrys. Their musical style trends young, as well. There's an element of bluegrass in the music, but it's often more of a grace note on top of the pop-rock guitars and drums that remain the focus of the album.

Lyrically, the songs also offer a youthful perspective, with mentions of prom nights and promise rings. That's not to suggest there's no depth to the songs - they offer a genuine, thoughtful perspective on young love, from the enthusiasm of the single Hip to My Heart, to the achingly pretty, yet mournful If I Die Young, in which the narrator contemplates her own mortality. Particularly compelling are Walk Me Down the Middle, which is part small town love song, part victory lap for a woman who has finally landed her man and the desperation of All Your Life.

The latter track captures all the intensity of an unrequited teenage crush in its powerful bridge: "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."

As with the rest of the album, Kimberly sings the hell out of those lines, edging towards the line between expressive phrasing and oversinging, but usually staying just this side of going wrong. There's certainly lots of room for The Band Perry to mature, but right now, they're providing a refreshingly non-cliché view of what it's like to not have grown old yet.