Rhythm & Views

Pernice Brothers

Pernice Brothers' music is the sort that parallels hopeful melodies with lyrics full of a healthy sense of reality. Devastating images are placed against gorgeous melodies, leaving room for interpretation. Discover a Lovelier You is the band's fifth full-length record, and its images tend to induce a more optimistic interpretation; as the band's publicity materials ponder, it may just be their first "feel-good" record.

Even in dire circumstances, songwriter Joe Pernice points out the glow on the horizon, and each song on Discover a Lovelier You focuses on that glow. "Kick this life from me 'til one better comes," sings Pernice on "There Goes the Sun," "hope there's love where you may land." "Saddest Quo" places images of complete breakdown-- "there's a train wreck, picking up survivors from a plane crash"--against sentiments of renewal: "my ancient thoughts feel new."

The brilliance of Joe Pernice's songwriting is his ability to reconcile extremes and stroll, singing la la la, through the liminal space between the ugly real world and the beautiful one we imagine and even glimpse from time to time. More amazingly, Discover a Lovelier You manages to sprinkle in a bit more hope without upsetting the balance, almost as if the beauty lies in simply marveling at the view at the border between the two worlds. Or, as Pernice puts it in "Sell Your Hair," "The outcome's as bright as the prism from ice on the welcome mat." The emotional affirmations of Discover a Lovelier You are just that: being happy about the brightness of something as treacherous and ironic as ice on a welcome mat.

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