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Rating: 4/5

Favorite Tracks: Better Dig Two, Done, Pioneer, Chainsaw

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/pioneer/id615443772

New country is not my favorite genre but when The Band Perry first came on the scene I loved, loved, loved “If I Die Young” (I know, I know, just like the rest of America I’m sure) especially the tone of Kimberly’s voice. However, I haven’t liked a single song since. And as I saw the band more and more, her hair started to grate on my nerves and don’t even get me started on those guys in the background. Even the first time I heard “Better Dig Two” I was immediately turned off by the “I was gonna love you ’til I’s dead” line … I mean … “I’s dead” … really?

But then I heard “Done” for the first time performed on American Idol with Janelle during the finale and I tried to resist, like really, really wanted to hate the song but … turns out my efforts were a loss … I can really freaking jam out to that song. JAM OUT.

So, now that my heart was softened again, I revisited “Better Dig Two” .. turns out it’s now one of my favorites on the album. The angsty sort of sound paired with the hardcore plucking against the sort of sweet albeit extreme general lovey-dovey theme of the song is now some sort of beautiful marriage to me. “I’s dead” still bothers me deep down like any grammatical mistakes written into song for whatever sort of effect these things are meant to convey (Hey, look at me, I’m relatable because I can’t speak properly? I don’t know. I don’t get it.) Nevertheless, I put on my best country accent and sing it loud and not so proud.

The third track, “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely” is pleasant. Sort of plain, nothing really wows me on this one but I still let it play out when listening through.

“Pioneer” is one of my new favorite self-empowering positive affirmation songs to listen to, especially when the bridge hits. After a few lines I’m like “YEAH SEND THE DARK OK? IT WON’T BREAK ME.” Not sure if she is self reflecting in this song or writing about someone else but I feel some sort of kindred spirit for whatever sappy reason. Self affirmation – so in these days.

“Forever Mine …” honestly all of the lyrics on this one slightly annoy me but I still hum along so …

“Night Gone Wasted” really makes me want to grab a beer in a mug, raise it up and swing it back and forth to the tune, inside some sort of wooden bar establishment. And for some reason I’m always drawn to the line “I’m making up with my enemies and loving my best friends” like .. maybe I really should make up with my enemies (hidden grudge holding guilt?)

“I Saw A Light” – another track that begs me to dislike it … I mean “Maybe it was God and his Son too” *cringe* but … again, the bridge, I’m just chanting along, I can’t help it, it takes over.

“Mother Like Mine” is just so sweet and I could easily be really bitter while listening with “why isn’t my mom like that???” but it just makes me hopeful and determined to make sure my future children want to write songs like this one day. I don’t really care if they think my dishes are cleaner, or my grass is greener, but “no one would ever wonder if somebody wanted them” … this is what so, so, so many young women (and young men I’m sure, I just notice it more in younger girls) lack when growing up.

“Chainsaw” the lyrics, the music, the message … whatever, I don’t even care … I just love to belt this thing out. Full on karaoke performance. Every time.

“I’m A Keeper” – really, super cheesy self affirmation song that I just can’t get enough of. (I blame Demi Lovato’s Neon Lights show that I recently went to for my recently re-energized LOVE YOURSELF enthusiasm.) “But with or without you, My only plan is to be free.” You tell em, Kimberly! You want your man, but you don’t need your man!

“Back to Me Without You” – I just can’t really emotionally connect to this song, which is what you probably need to enjoy it, so again, I let it play but pretty bland for me.

“End of Time” – If I were to skip any song while listening through, it might be this one. Cliche down home, southern lines are why I don’t usually have anything to do with current country. The sweet tea wells ran dry .. really? really? REALLY?  Do we have to end the album like this? You know what, no. I’ll just replay “Better Dig Two” and “Done” before I turn it off. End on a high baby.

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