Pioneer (2013) 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… 2013-04-02 The Band Perry Country Big Machine
Music Review

Pioneer (2013)

The Band Perry


Details Release Date: Apr 02, 2013; Lead Performance: The Band Perry; Genre: Country; Production: Big Machine

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.

So it's fun to hear her get those linens dirty on Pioneer: The banjo-plucking hit ''Better Dig Two'' even finds her trading in her wedding whites for a hangman's noose. Not only did Kimberly and her brothers, Neil and Reid, prove they're tougher than they sound by parting ways with the album's original producer, Rick Rubin — his replacement, Dann Huff, preserves their homegrown twang nicely, nixing the boring pop-crossover vibe that plagues so much mainstream country — but Kimberly's all fired up, too. She'll win points with Leatherface for the fiddle-shredding ''Chainsaw,'' and she slugs some guy in the nose on the fun, glam-rock-inspired ''Forever Mine Nevermind.'' When she does play nice, she's a bit self-righteous; check the faith-reaffirming ''I Saw a Light'' and the braggy ''Mother Like Mine.'' But when she's bad, she's better. On the outcast-pride anthem ''I'm a Keeper,'' this good girl wants to ''buy a sword...cut my hair and change my name to Cherry.'' It's all right, Ma — she's only kidding. But it would sure be cool if she did. B

Best Tracks
''Better Dig Two''

A bluegrass-fueled murder-suicide

''Forever Mine Nevermind''

A Queen-gone-country sing-along

Originally posted Mar 27, 2013 Published in issue #1253 Apr 05, 2013 Order article reprints