After the crossover success of “If I Die Young,” the sibling trio’s sophomore album was that much more important. It’s been two and a half years since their debut album was released in October 2010, and I’ve been anticipating and nervous for this album. I really like the trio. Every time I’ve met them they’ve always just had impeccable manners. So yeah, I’m always rooting for them, and hoping the best for them.
What I like about this album is that their music has matured, but it is still very appealing to their younger audiences. You want to sell music, you have to sell to women and teens. Teens have a lot of power—how do you think Disney is able to launch mega superstars, even if their stardom is only short lived?
It’s ballad heavy, but not boring or sleepy, which is nice, because everyone is always all “up-tempo, up-tempo, up-tempo! I need an up-tempo!” And the textures and interesting blends of styles keep it interesting.
On top of all that, while man contemporary country albums wind up just making a lot of noise in the strive for pop appeal, I think this album achieves pop appeal without being overproduced. In case you haven’t noticed in my music reviews, I’m not a big fan of overproduction on records.
It’s an album, not a collection of singles, so listen to it that way.
“Better Dig Two”—I have to admit, this song still confuses me a little, because I didn’t expect them to come out with a song that was lyrically so morbid. I mean is it like a crazy possessive love song, or is it a crazy possessive threat. I was like, “hello crazy side of Kimberly.” But musically, I love this song. It’s powerful.
“Done.” is a rockin’ song full of sass. The second single off this album, I expect it to go to the top of the charts. It follows the “don’t mess with me” theme of “Better Dig Two.” The video for this song is also the best one they’ve done since “If I Die Young.” The others were theatrically and aesthetically pleasing, but none were a huge departure from anything they’ve done before. The video for “Done.” is a bit edgier.
“Don’t Let Me Be Lonely” is the first ballad on the album following the above two, which is a nice change of tempo. It starts off like the sweet silence of the middle of a night you don’t want to end, then picks up and the energy of the chorus takes you for a ride on the Milky Way. Radio hit? I think so. And Sarah Buxton is a co-writer on this song, and I love Sarah.
“Pioneer”—the intro cradles you like a warm summer night, and you’re tempted to close your eyes and fall into a sweet dream. It’s a very pretty song, and the lyrics are quite beautiful. The production of this song is a good example of what this album is as a whole—a great blend of different sounds.
“Forever Mine Nevermind” –The highly Queen-esque influence in this song makes it the most theatrical song on the album—should be great fun at live performances and a radio hit as well.
“Night Gone Wasted” is a fun retro little ditty. It reminds me of “Grease,” not musically necessarily, but it brings about the image of The Pink Ladies and T-Birds. It's got that kind of retro rock 'n roll vibe.
“I Saw A Light” is sure to put girls in a romantical mood. I wouldn’t be surprised if it started to become a popular first dance wedding song.
“Mother Like Mine”—when I first saw the title to this song, I was afraid it was going to be super cheesy, but it’s not. It’s a very sweet reverse lullaby—you know, instead of a mother singing her babies to sleep, it’s the other way around.
“Chainsaw”—I love this song. Who doesn’t love the vengeful, angry ex-girlfriend song. It’s just rockin’.
“I’m a Keeper”—the lyrics of this song flows so well, it’s a song you’ll sing a long to even if you don’t want. But you’ll want to. The chorus. That’s what’ll get you. It’s so good. It just is. Radio will eat this up.
“Back To Me Without You”—I love how it starts out with just the piano. It sets the sad, lonely mood. This song is enriched by Neil and Reid’s back up vocals, bringing out more of the desperation and sting of a broken heart—kind of like ghosts echoing Kimberly’s voice. And then the mandolin and fiddle
“End of Time” finishes off the album nicely, and leaves you hungry for more. It’s perfect.
BIG LOVE & HUGS