Review: Kimberly Perry Blossoms on Solo Debut ‘BLOOM’

Kimberly Perry
(RECORDS Nashville/Columbia Records)
4.5 out of 5 stars

Videos by American Songwriter

After having been a longtime fixture on the country charts as one-third of the sibling outfit The Band Perry, whose richly narrative country hits like “Better Dig Two” and “All Your Life” dominated much of the 2010s, Kimberly Perry is back and in BLOOM.

Her new EP, BLOOM, is a five-track re-introduction to the artist, one that plucks The Band Perry, the person she used to be, and all of our preconceived notions like petals from a daisy. The release finds her in deep reflection, and in turn, sees her growth from the sister Perry we once knew to the solo artist we are soon to fall in love with too.

‘BLOOM’ album cover / Courtesy of 2B Entertainment

BLOOM comes to life with an all too familiar sound as the artist revisits the song that first launched The Band Perry into country music consciousness, “If I Die Young.” Now, over a decade later, she exchanges the song’s trademark gothic tragedy for a message of hope in “If I Die Young Pt. 2,” a song that blossomed from years worth of change, growth, and as a result, wisdom.

I’ve had time to bloom / Plantin’ them roses instead and / I’m changing my tune since I said, she assures in Part 2 before she belts out the original’s memorable chorus, If I die young, bury me in satin / Lay me down on a bed of roses / Sink me in the river at dawn / Send me away with the words of a love song. The songs that follow adhere to a similar approach. They look back, but they never linger in the past, the collection becoming less a road map to where’s she been and more of a clear direction forward.

Tracks like “Burn the House Down” and “Cry at Your Funeral” offer a glimpse into her history. Two songs laden with a been-there-done-that poise, the former is about her journey toward becoming new, becoming the artist we hear on the album. You can’t rise from the ashes / Til you burn the house down, she offers in the fiery, country-flecked lament. The former, “Cry at Your Funeral,” is a glorious release of the things that never served her in the first place. Bad love don’t get a second chance, she sagely sings along to the freeing pop-tinged tune.

The final two tracks are more meditative tunes about where and who she is now—a newly solo artist, a wife, and a soon-to-be mother. The starkly strummed “Ghosts” is a charmingly macabre vow to her partner, one that sweetly promises her love will last long after “death do us part.” While at points contrived, “Smoke ‘Em Too” is all about acceptance, a song that finds the artist leafing through all of her contradictions to find her truest self at the center.

Overall, BLOOM finds Kimberly Perry in the springtime of her career, and in just 5 songs, she gives listeners something to look forward to.

Photo by Claire Schaper / 2B Entertainment

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