Heartbreak And Canyon Revelry
2018 - Station House Recordings. When you pick up a new album, by a new artist and take a listen, you never know what you are going to get. Sometimes you hit the jackpot and hear a beautiful album filled with inspiring music. Then sometimes you get a hodgepodge that makes you ask—what is this? When I started listening to Pearl’s album, I found myself mesmerized in her vocals and the beautiful melodies. Nonetheless, the lyrics turn this reviewer away. Pearl’s style is unique as a blend of classic country mixed with southern rock. It’s a beautiful combination with enthusiastic guitar solos and just the right choice in musical instruments. However, when you take a close look at the lyrics, they are complicated and disconcerting. Pearl wrote or co-wrote ten of the eleven songs on this project. Some of the songs do contain a stanza or two of well-written lyrics; however, they are mixed with others that are quite baffling. A perfect example of this is found in “Levon Song.” The chorus of this song speaks about a ‘soldier caught in war,’ while the verses relay messages of drinking and weather issues. If we look beyond and try to focus on a meaning behind the chosen words, then perhaps we may come upon the message relayed within the lyrics. As a listener, do you want to spend time meditating on the meaning within the lyrics or do you wish to get the point of the song right from the start? The main quality that sends this reviewer away is Pearl’s weakness when it comes to rhyme. She does not allow the lyrics to flow as she pushes towards rhyming rather than progress and movement that the song demands. This stagnation creates a discomfort and unpleasantness when listening to each of these songs. Not all is lost. One song on this album, “Who Am I,” is worth a bit of your time. Although the song contains a couple of complicated stanzas, it also gives us a glimpse into the possible potential of this singer. If Pearl were to team up and or find several different songwriters to work with and to create music that compliments her vocals and musical styles, I believe that many fans will consider and explore her music. At this point, we’ll just watch to see how she progresses as a songwriter. $$+
(This review was printed in the September / October 2018 issue of Strictly Country Magazine.)
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