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April 2009 Articles
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Issue: April 2009

Find Yourself in Pierce Pettis

That Kind of Love (Compass Records)

Pierce Pettis

Singer-songwriter Pierce Pettis' ninth album, That Kind of Love, bursts open with a bluegrassian-reggae mix called "Nothing But the Wind." This song rocks gently with the reggae feel but engages the mind into clear thought with the strong melodic current of the guitar and other acoustic stringed instruments that gives it the Bluegrass feel.

However, the words of "Nothing But the Wind" take the listener into a world of lyrical abstract poetry. Yet, to describe this album by just the opening song would not do it any justice. Indeed, this album has a little something for everyone.

It is a little political. Like in the song "Farewell" that broaches the subject of arranged marriage, "bound for a marriage my father made to a man who is twice my age," but yet it reminisces about the starting point in a young adult's life — leaving home for the first time and longing sometimes to go back.

Pettis entices the listener to dance with the upbeat grove of "Lion's Eye," while he envelops the body with the African beat in "I am Nothing." Pettis sings about dancing in the waltz-like tune "To Dance." Still, he invokes the highest praise with the "Hallelujah Song," a rather abstract tune.

Of course, this album has something for the lovers with the ballad "That Kind of Love," but the intended message of this song is deeper and extends past romantic love.

There is spirituality, a sense of traditionalism, political thought, hurt and pain, and growth in this album. It has a message within each song, but it is not overbearing. The music is rich, simple, and warm. This album definitely accomplishes what he set out to do. That is make his songs universal and "not what people see of me in the song — but what they can see of themselves."

For more information go to www.piercepettis.com.

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