Music News

The Pernice Brothers

With a master's of fine arts in poetry, Brooklyn-based Joe Pernice writes lyrics with his education pinned on his sweatered sleeve. The excellent "Baby in Two" is a direct reference to Solomon -- the king who settled a dispute over an infant by suggesting two contending women cut it in half; but the track is so beautifully bereft, it's easy for the listener to abandon the biblical story to imagine the beginnings of a divorce in some suburban living room. Pernice is equally as literary on "Water Ban": "Scorched earth lovers/is that all we'll be?/Roads diverging in a living dream..." Moving in a single line from the frost of a merciless Russian winter to Robert Frost, the album goes from footnotes to falsetto notes; Yours, Mine, & Ours is on the gifted end of the current musical curve that melds 1960s dream pop, 1960s country, 1980s antiheroism, and 1990s sentimentality to create a sound most critics bottom-line as "lush."

And like any American writer properly trained in English literature, Pernice wears collared shirts for the cameras and gives his nods to the British; comparisons to Morrissey are irrefutable on "Judy" when Pernice implores: "Tell her that you saw me/Would you please/would you please/would you please?" And Yours, Mine, & Ours is a pleasure -- as cool and shiny as a copper Brooklyn fall.

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Marli Guzzetta