Currently wowing the country charts in their native USA, The Band Perry’s eponymous debut album offers 11 highly polished songs. Fronted by the strident, assertive vocals of Kimberly Perry, they proffer bright and breezy fare that’s the usual lyrical recipe of meetin’ ‘n’ cheatin’, percolated throughout with fizzy bubbles of crossover pop.
With Kimberly still shy of 30, she’s nevertheless the oldest in this family troupe that’s been working the stateside country circuit since 2005. Along with her younger brothers Reid and Neil (handling mandolin, bass and backing vocals), their short career hasn’t stopped the family mantelpiece bowing alarmingly under the weight of the numerous awards and accolades to have been thrown their way.
Whilst there’s no faulting the tightly-drilled performances turned in by the trio and an array of skilled sessioneers, the delivery has a by-the-numbers feel that’s workman-like rather than inspired. Perhaps the fault lies with a set of committee-written tunes that are well-worn and overly-familiar. If I Die Young ponders a life cut short, though not before the heroine has had time to listen to Taylor Dane’s Tell It to My Heart prior to her untimely demise.
While it’s not always fair to isolate lyrics, clumsily trite observations such as “Like a girl wants her chocolate / Yeah I know that I’ll miss you” and “As far as I can run / To where freedom’s free” leap out, alongside many other examples of hackneyed wordplay. This sort of blandness becomes difficult to ignore and, it must be said, forgive.
Of course, such churlish reservations will not affect the The Band Perry’s radio-friendly momentum. One can only hope the raw talent that exists beneath the glitzy lacquer of this debut will mature and emerge with a more distinctive and original voice on its second album.
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