For a such a well-groomed bunch of kids, Kimberly, Neil and Reid Perry are remarkably death-obsessed: In the wake of their 2010 country smash "If I Die Young," the lead single from their second LP is "Better Dig Two," a catchy banjo-cum-power chord murder-suicide fantasy. The goth-iness would seem a perfect match for Rick Rubin, uncredited "song doctor" on this perky, rocked-up country-pop set. But the brood is most convincing on giddier kiss-offs like "Chainsaw" (rhymes with "such a shame y'all") and the Brad Paisley co-write "Forever Mine Nevermind," with guitar sass befitting a Queen album.
Mama always told me that I should play nice,” Kimberly Perry coos on the Band Perry’s new single ”Done.” Well, she couldn’t play nicer if she were a golden-retriever puppy. Her wildest moments on the sibling trio’s 2010 debut involved hand-holding and Ferris-wheel riding. Their smash ”If I Die Young” might’ve sounded gothic, but it was actually sweet, with Kimberly insisting that she’ll wear white in heaven because ”I’ve never known the loving of a man.” The songs were all temptation-tested, Mama-approved.
On the evidence of their second album, sibling trio The Band Perry are held together by both blood and bluster. Unlike their country peers who trade on finely turned lyricism, the Perrys embrace old-fashioned rocking out, and relish sinking their teeth into meaty hooks. Thanks to Kimberly Perry's lusty, belting voice, they're at their best when they whip up an emotional storm she can lose herself in.
Starting with the threats of "Better Dig Two," there's a swagger that underpins much of Pioneer, the second album from family country-pop trio the Band Perry. This boldness never quite dissipates under the thunderous cloud of big ballads, of which there are many here. Almost all the attitude derives from Kimberly Perry, who retains a sense of palpable defiance even in the quietest moments, her vigor lending passion to music that is deliberately designed to appeal to the widest possible audience as it blurs the line between contemporary country and pop.
THE BAND PERRY “Pioneer” (Republic Nashville) Thoughts of death have been good to the Band Perry, the three Perry siblings: Kimberly (vocals), Reid (on bass) and Neil (on mandolin). In “Better Dig Two,” the banjo-centered single that opens its second album, “Pioneer,” and has already sold a million copies, Ms. Perry sings that she’s “gonna love you ’til I’s dead,” and that either her husband’s “divorce or death” would kill her: “If you go before I do/I’m gonna tell the gravedigger that he better dig two.” That song follows through on the band’s first No.