In a time when Mileys and Lil Waynes dominate the music scene, the task of finding a worthwhile album may seem unattainable. Before you give up, however, let the Pierces’ “13 Tales of Love and Revenge” renew your faith.
The Pierces, an indie, folk, pop group with gypsy influences, begin their third release with “Secret,” an acoustic waltz based on a Benjamin Franklin aphorism. The song laces ominous lyrics with carnival themes to pose the warning that “two can keep a secret/if one of them is dead.” The tune speeds up near the end to symbolize the frenzy of trying to keep one’s mouth shut.
The album continues with “Boring,” a dark, edgy track that syncs Egyptian harmonies with biting verses. Lamenting that “nothing thrills us anymore/no one kills us anymore,” the Pierces give a sarcastic interpretation that boredom stems from overindulgence.
For fans of fairy tales, “Three Wishes” is a melancholy but whimsical piece that would be a perfect soundtrack for any medieval tale.
Heartbreak is an all too common topic in music, but the Pierces provide a unique take by spinning it into a fable featuring the iconic three wishes, with the last saved “for a rainy day/if your lover ever takes her love away.” The classical instrumentals are hauntingly beautiful, especially the heart-wrenching violin solo.
“Go to Heaven” is perhaps the only song that fails to click, though the sweet lullaby-like accompaniment compensates for the somewhat lackluster lyrics and juvenile rhymes.
Inspired by the music of the ?s, “Boy in a Rock and Roll Band” opens with a swingy intro that rivals the appeal of Rihanna’s infamous “bum bum be-dum,” and the Pierce sisters let their Alabama roots peek out, singing with Southern twangs in the chorus.
With distinctive tunes and surprising lyrical twists, “13 Tales” can restore hope to even the most jaded listener. It deviates from convention with obscure instruments including the banjo, calliope, and sitar. The Pierce girls throw themselves into their songs, assuming roles from lovesick victims (“Go to Heaven”) to haughty socialites (“Boring”), with a knack for spinning cliched situations into unique listening experiences. Relying heavily on the appeal to pathos, each song tells a different tale, and this album can be just as cherished as a favorite storybook.
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