Music » Album Reviews

Record Review


Joe Pernice's bright pop shimmers like reflections of the summer sun off a lake, shards of melody ricocheting off its placid surface while beneath flows an undercurrent of sadness and disappointment. A consummate pop classicist, his literate lyricism anchors the music, while his arrangements are warm and sumptuous.

On Pernice's second self-released album, Yours, Mine & Ours, the songs range in style from the jangly, New Order-ish "Sometimes I Remember" with its under-girding of swirling synth, to the supple folk-strum of "Baby in Two." The latter is a good example of Pernice's superior craftsmanship, embodying all the richness of a Bacharach tune while maintaining a straightforward approach. The impressionistic washes of emotion and detail ("Sometimes it's better not to know/Holding on to something when you should just let go," "Hurry up and stall/Would you give a little if you can't give it all") build a portrait of familial dissolution, couched in terms of Solomon's classic conundrum: "I'd be the king if I could say to you/Cut the baby in two."

A little more up-tempo than 2001's The World Won't End, Yours reveals more subtle sonic elements with each listen. In that sense, it's Pernice's most baroque release to date, managed with such skill that the songs rarely seem cluttered, and instead tell a story of unending nuance.

The Pernice Brothers play Tasty World in Athens Mon., June 23 and The Earl, Tues., June 24.

Add a comment