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Sunday, Oct. 19, 2003

Listening post: Recorded

"Yours, Mine & Ours"
Pernice Brothers
(One Little Indian/Imperial)

News photo

Joe Pernice is said to have the most beautiful voice in alt country. That was perhaps true when he was the vocalist for the Scud Mountain Boys, but what the Pernice Brothers do is not alt country, and considering all the overdubbing and processing that takes place, it's difficult to be sure that what we're hearing is Pernice's real voice.

His current thing is '60s-style top-40 chamber pop, a predilection that doesn't prohibit him from occasionally tapping the same depressive feelings that distinguished the Scuds, but Pernice is mostly an optimistic fellow (his last album was called "The World Won't End"). "My love for you is terrible and true," he croons in a jingle-jangle mourning tone, while the band sails through one of the prettiest rock arrangements this side of the Left Bank. Even when he directly rips off Gary Glitter, lyrically as well as melodically, Pernice makes it lovely and sad. Heartbreak usually doesn't sound this good.

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