Although this is The Pierce's forth album, it sounds as fresh and imaginative as a debut album. I've heard of the band before when I heard them do a performance on TV last year, but I didn't buy any of their music until today. I'm quite impressed with the album. Nothing stood out as annoying or distracting on the first listen. The album itself makes me feel very relaxed because of it's folk atmosphere. You may remember the singles; Glorious and You'll Be Mine. Both of them are very catchy and easy listening songs that are adorable and mature at the same time.
It's a very quirky and everything about the record has a very high standard. The lyrics have a nice ring of intelligence to it, the vocals are brilliant and the songs are overall great and songs that I would listen to again. The best part about this album is the vocals. We all know that vocals are a very important thing when it comes to making an album. Both sisters have some fantastic voices and they harmonize brilliantly together as if they were one person echoing. It does make the atmosphere of the tracks a lot more pleasant.
Those who like to steer away from manufactured pop will find great comfort in this record. The sisters, Alison and Catherine write their own songs and Alison also performs on the acoustic guitar. The sound makes me think of some artists like Lana Del Rey and other out there artists that are somewhat within the line of adding acoustic folk to their music. There's a little bit of commercialism in the songs, but it's only a little bit and not enough to spoil the rawness in the songs.
The nature of the songs give it a really lovely vintage sound that makes it stand out from other albums and bands that are doing the same genre. It can attract fans of all ages because of how welcoming it is. All of the songs on this album are great but they're some tracks that really blow everything out of the water.
Kissing You Goodbye is the most powerful track for me. The string arrangements harmonize lovely here and has a sweet summery feeling. It gives a really nice contrast to the deep vocals here. I think this song is a real classic because it gives me nice summer flashbacks. For reason it reminds me of a modern and mature version of ABBA because of the simple vintage feeling.
Space & Time reminds me a little bit of Florence + The Machine. It has a very spectacular dreamy atmosphere, yet it's still easy to listen to. I love the vocal effects on this song because it makes their harmonies stand out a lot more. The drumming and under-layered percussion sound really grand on this track.
Those two were my favourite tracks from this album. The singles were great and the rest were just as good. It's a very sweet album overall and I think it's worth listening to. I think if you liked the singles then you'll like this album just as much.
You and I is the fourth album from sister-act The Pierces. The album was released in the United Kingdom in May 2011 and so is very recent. The album is currently available to buy from Amazon for a price of £5.99 which I think is great value for money!
~* Tracklist *~
1) You'll Be Mine 2) It Will Not Be Forgotten 3) Love You More 4) We Are Stars 5) Glorious 6) The Good Samaritan 7) Kissing You Goodbye 8) Close My Eyes 9) Space & Time 10) Drag You Down 11) I Put Your Records On
First of all, for me this is quite an unusual genre (folk & rock) and this is totally different compared to the usual styles of music I listen to (mainly R n B). At first I was unsure whether I would like it or not, although I do think that it is good to step out of your comfort zone every once in a while. On this occasion it turned out good, as I ended up liking the album.
I can't pick a favourite song as they are all good. However, ones which stand out for me are 'You'll Be Mine' and 'Glorious'; such simple yet very effective songs!
I find the songs on this album to be quite addictive; by this, I mean that once you have heard them once you just have to hear them again, and so for me it takes a long time to get through the album as I keep saying 'ooh I'll put that one again!'.
I think that the two sisters are really good singers. Because their voices are so similar; their harmonies are just brilliant as they have voices which compliment each other.
When I first saw the tracklist, I thought I was looking at a Steps album (Say You'll Be Mine, Better Best Forgotten, Love You More etc) but then when I listened to the album, it does remind me a lot of the Corrs, so if you like the Corrs then you will probably like this.
There is something really relaxing and 'far away' about this album; it's like an escape into a dream world and so I would therefore say that it is a great album for listening to whilst chilling out. I love the summery feel this album has.
There is something really happy and upbeat about this album; the kind of album which makes you smile!
A big YES from me!
Thanks for reading!
I love vocal harmonies - there is something very special about the sound of singers who know how to harmonise and do it well. It's something that was part of pop music in the 1960s - most likely as a result of the influence of folk music - and it was evident in many of the pop songs I listened to as a child in the 70s but over time that sound seems to have gone out of fashion.
I probably have the Fleet Foxes to thank for a return to close knit harmonies on the airwaves and I loved their debut album. Earlier on this year I heard the Pierces for the first time and was enchanted by their vocals which harked back to the 1960s but also contained influences from more recent times.
~~Who Are the Pierces?~~
The Pierces comprise of two sisters - Allison and Catherine Pierce, who hail from Alabama. The girls were home schooled by parents who described themselves as "hippies" - their father was a guitarist in bands and their mother was an artist. With such creative parents educating the girls, it didn't take long for them to start making their own music.
They released their debut album in 2000 and in the intervening decade they released two further albums which were generally well received by critics and did feature songs which got a reasonable amount of airplay but mainstream success eluded them.
On the verge of throwing in the towel, they were approached by Coldplay's Guy Berryman asking them to support his band on a South American tour. From that tour the seeds for "You and I" were sown and the album was eventually produced by Berryman and his Darktones collaborator Rik Simpson. The girls were signed by UK label Polydor and the Coldplay link has paid off leading to heavy airplay for the two singles released from the album and plenty of TV appearances too. As a result "You and I" debuted in the UK album charts at number 4.
I must admit at this juncture that until I heard "You'll Be Mine", the lead single from "You and I", I had never heard of the Pierces. I first encountered them on radio and only recently discovered what they look like when I went to pre-order their album on the HMV website.
I have always been intrigued by family harmonies - it's been argued that brothers and sisters can harmonise to greater effect than people who aren't related - and listening to the Bee Gees as I grew up reinforced that opinion for me. I honestly don't think Allison or Catherine Pierce could harmonise more effectively than they do with each other.
The overall sound of the album is predominantly one of the 1960s but unlike so much of the music which has been backward looking of late, the Pierces don't do retro soul. Instead their music is in the realms of pop-folk with a huge nod towards the Mamas & Papas in particular - but the spectre of Fleetwood Mac, Abba and the Bangles loom large too.
"You'll Be Mine" is a whimsical opener although the opening bars hint at the presence of Coldplay with Berryman's guitar playing. This is a radio friendly song but it's the harmonies which grab you by the scruff of the neck and make you sit up and notice - along with lyrics that paradoxically put you in mind of wide open spaces and fairy tales.
Second single "Glorious" is the standout track and is a hook laden gem of a song which could have been a hit 30 years ago yet manages to retain a firmly up to date sound. The guitar playing on here is reminiscent of the 1980s - with Big Country coming to mind in places - yet the sound is completely modern. The song has lyrics which can be construed any way you want them too - is it about a greater, holy love or just a general appreciation for what we have?
What shines out through the jangly production which harks back to the Mamas & Papas is the vocals which are crystal clear but in perfect harmony. Once this song gets inside your head it quite simply refuses to leave.
There is an 80s sounding intro on "It Will Not be Forgotten" but apart from a brief memory of Strawberry Switchblade flashing into my mind, this is a beautiful mid tempo pop song which belongs firmly in 2011. On the bridge the harmonies, which are lush throughout, step up a notch, taking the song up a level with them.
What is evident from just three songs is the Pierces' strong song writing ability and how easily a memorable hook seems to come to them. On "Love You More" the chorus enters your head as a more sinister kind of love is explored in a song which features sweet vocals and a chugging bass guitar which juxtapose beautifully if incongruously.
The darker side of love also features on "I Put Your Records On" which at face value is a beautiful acoustic country twinged ballad but upon closer listening has a hidden darkness in the lyrics and in the vocals. How the Pierces manage this is a wonder to me - but it adds depth to what they produce. Similarly don't be fooled by the title "The Good Samaritan" - there's nothing biblical about this song. Instead it's a slow, memorable song which is beautifully sung. The guitar playing of Alex Levy on this will have you picturing the Pierces singing in a hot American desert, probably pointing a gun at someone. How can two girls who sing so sweetly conjour up such images? But they do.
The darkness also features on "Kissing You Goodbye", a song which can quite literally be described as a "kiss off" but once again on face value sounds like something joyous and happy thanks to that Mamas & Papas-esque sound. The lyrics reveal a female lover who has been unfaithful and isn't ashamed of it.
If something a little lighter is what you crave then the lushly romantic "We are Stars" will hit the spot. It's a mid-tempo and wistful song which lets the Pierces harmonise perfectly.
On "Close My Eyes" the vocals remind me of Abba in places with a low sung verse and a soaring, beautifully harmonised chorus. The slide guitar gives it a wonderful country sound which isn't what you expect when the song starts - and it finishes with a guitar riff that put me straight in mind of the Isley Brothers' version of "Summer Breeze". It's this ability by the Pierces to surprise the listener on this album which continually delights me.
The vocals on "Drag You Down" - another song tinged with darkness - are particularly stunning. I can hear the influence of Stevie Nicks on the vocals here but this doesn't detract from the Pierces' own identity - they seem happy to wear a lot of their influences on their sleeves. Once again this song has a chorus which you can't shake from your head along with some strikingly memorable guitar playing too.
There's nothing particularly cool about the music the Pierces produce - and certainly it's several large steps removed from the auto tuned drivel which permeates the charts these days. Instead you are presented with two sisters who have quite beautiful singing voices and an ear for a memorable hook. You can tell their roots are in acoustic music and there's something wonderfully analogue about the entire sound of "You and I" - there's certainly barely a synthesiser in sight.
What Berryman and Simpson have done is to add a pop sensibility to the Pierces' songs, and given them a wonderfully radio friendly sound which isn't going to set trends but is going to give the listener a very interesting set of songs on the album to enjoy.
I have found myself let down by albums I buy after hearing one or two singles in the past but the Pierces haven't let me down with "You and I" - it's a marvellously performed and sung thing of beauty which is multi layered and needs to be listened to carefully to truly appreciate the wit these sisters possess.
"You and I" is the sound of the summer for me and I recommend it.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 You'll Be Mine
2 It Will Not Be Forgotten
3 Love You More
4 We Are Stars
6 The Good Samaritan
7 Kissing You Goodbye
8 Close My Eyes
9 Space + Time
10 Drag You Down
11 I Put Your Records On