The Band Perry — “All Your Life”
The Band Perry has built its name on just a tad bit of crazy, stringing together a trio of radio singles that reached the top twenty – no small feat for brand new artists only two years in – while playing off the off-beat.
Lead single “Hip to My Heart” banked on its campy fizz and exclamations like “Brother, man!,” while the beautifully morbid “If I Die Young” drew simultaneous reactions of “What?” and “Wow.” And after all its grammar mangling, “You Lie” wedged in paternal death threats to round out a radio catalog of catchy, inventive and unique tunes that hung their freak flags high.
Follow-up “All Your Life,” the latest off the group’s debut self-titled debut from 2009, seems to throw off that pattern as an easy-listening ode to everlasting love. Familiar love song staples are here – the sun, the moon, fireflies and long walks on the beach – but slowly and surely Kimberly Perry, along with brothers Reid and Neil, reveal they’re not coming from the usual place of puppy love.
The twist revealed in the tune’s bridge is reminiscent of Sugarland’s music video for “Stuck Like Glue,” minus the reggae breakdown and in-your-face antics; however, the camp is played up with a pulsing, old-circus sound over affected vocals revealing “Lately I’ve been writing desperate love songs/And mostly sing them to the wall/You could be the center piece of my obsession.”
Kimberly’s mature vocals blend well with her brothers, and her dedication to maintaining the band’s charming spunk is intriguing, like a bright pink petticoat barely visible from underneath a black dress. Unfortunately, the funky pay-off comes in a bit late in the game, when the song has already slogged through a couple of forgettable verses such as “Would you catch a couple thousand fireflies/Put them in a lamp to light my world.” In fact, it’s easy to tune out and miss the entire thing in a “Wait, what did she just sing?” lapse of interest.
Presented as an entire package, however, what appears to be an easy lob for radio airplay morphs into a surprising curveball that is perhaps the trio’s biggest display of crazy yet. And in the sea of mainstream country radio where hick-hop rap lyrics appear to be a legitimate new frontier, this kind of wackiness is a welcome display of creativity by one of the genre’s most inventive young bands.
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