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. BBest Tracks
''Better Dig Two''
A bluegrass-fueled murder-suicide''Forever Mine Nevermind''
A Queen-gone-country sing-along