Single Review: The Band Perry, “You Lie”

Much credit has been and should be given to The Band Perry for resisting the popular urge to rock out with their country music. As a result of their more laid back hybrid of folksy country instrumentation, this young group has received well-deserved critical praise. Where they falter, however, is with their lyrics.

Just focusing on their single releases so far, inferior lyrics seems to be their chief weakness. Their first single, “Hip to My Heart” sounded catchy and fun enough, but the lyrics were embarrassingly inane. Similarly, “If I Die Young”, single number two, sounded both catchy and pretty, but the lyrics left room for heavy interpretation thanks to the last verse that threw people for a confused loop. So, disappointingly, the same basic critique must be applied to their newest single as well.

As with the others, it all sounds great until you focus on the lyrics, which is where the song completely breaks down. Firstly, a juvenile page is taken out of the Taylor Swift playbook by threatening to sic her father on the jilting lover: “I oughta kill you right now and do the whole wide world a service/ Well my daddy’s gonna straighten you out like a piece of wire.”

The most obvious and glaring flaw, however, is that the use of the word “lie” is misused throughout the song. In an effort to illustrate what a liar the subject of the song is, Perry sings, “You lie like a priceless Persian rug on a rich man’s floor/ You lie like a coon dog basking in the sunshine on my porch/ You lie like a penny in the parking lot at the grocery store/ It just comes natural to you/ The way you lie.”

Perhaps my sense of humor just doesn’t stretch far enough, but the sloppy writing makes it sound like the man is extremely lazy rather than a rotten liar.

Written by Aaron Henningsen,Brian Henningsen and Clara Henningsen

Grade: C

Listen: You Lie

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28 Comments

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28 Responses to Single Review: The Band Perry, “You Lie”

  1. TomNo Gravatar

    …quite right, this is a total ditty, but their sound and the youthful freshness in kimberly perry’s vocals make it very easy on the ears. i guess, the target audience can live with their temporary lyrical weakness quite easily and so can i.

    being a liar, certainly ain’t no praise, but being a lazy liar…

  2. BobNo Gravatar

    After listening to this song, I know that you haven’t lied in this review. The family songwriting team Aaron, Brian and Clara Henningsen also penned or co-penned 4 other tracks on The Band Perry. Wonder if the rest of their efforts are any better.

  3. I do have to Kimberly some credit for the “That ain’t my perfume/ I bet she had a curfew” line. That was awesome.

  4. Travis in VIrginiaNo Gravatar

    I like it a lot as well as “if I die young.”

  5. BillyNo Gravatar

    I would have much rather have had “Postcard From Paris” be the next single. I believe that it’s much better written than this one.

  6. KevinNo Gravatar

    They’re great singers and the album has an awesome sound. I like a lot of tracks more than this one. Their lyrics, much like their hair, could use some judicious editing.

  7. CamNo Gravatar

    You have to be kidding me. Ya’ll have never heard the old saying, “You lie like a rug.”? I’ll agree that lyrically “Hip” was a light weight song, but does everything have to be “Whiskey Lullaby”. “If I Die Young” to me is one of the best coverages of a very difficult subject. Kudos to TBP for having the guts to tackle it. Seems to have impacted in a very positive way a whole bunch of peeps- over 1.5 million sales, over 15 million Youtube views of the video. Maybe some of those who are so confused should venture outside of Music Row to the real world where folks deal with this sort of thing every day. I’m just sayin’… “You Lie” is a very catchy tune by the Henningsen clan and after all this is entertainment.

  8. Dan MNo Gravatar

    Great review, and I agree. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to the album, but I remember liking “Miss You Being Gone” and a few other tracks a lot. They could do better than this one. Even “Picture to Burn” feels like a stronger kiss-off to me.

  9. Yes, I agree. “Picture to Burn” is stronger than this.

    And, yes, I’ve heard “you lie like a rug” before, but it’s not such a cool saying that a whole song should be built around it.

  10. I liked it. I didn’t like their first single, but I liked “If I Die Young” better than this. At the very least, we should be thankful that it’s not the worst we’ve heard of the year, what can you expect from newcomers who are coming into country radio’s current state?

  11. Tara seetharamNo Gravatar

    Their lyrics, much like their hair, could use some judicious editing.

    :) Thanks for the Wednesday laugh.

    I don’t mind the song. I’ve really only listened to it a few times, though. I suspect it’ll get old fast.

  12. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    Oh, and agree – great review!

  13. EvanNo Gravatar

    A lazy liar is someone who lies so much he doesn’t think about it or make and effort to make it believable. I know a few people like this so I don’t have a problem with the lyrics.

  14. Their lyrics, much like their hair, could use some judicious editing.

    For the win!

  15. Jon G.No Gravatar

    Cam, I think the confusion stems from how the songs goes from “if I die young” to “WHEN I die young (as in I WILL die young)” to “I AM dead young” and it gets a little fuzzy as to what The Band Perry is actually trying to communicate.
    [Correct me if this is not what you were referring to, Leeann.]
    Aside from that lack of focus, I think that many will agree that there are some very well-written lines in “If I Die Young.”

  16. Jon G.No Gravatar

    And lie is not technically misused. At least, I would not say as much. Rather, they correctly use another meaning. Yes, it gives the impression that the person is slothful instead of insincere, but it is grammatically and, in regards to the chorus, thematically correct. It is not exactly clever, but it is not an improper usage, either.

  17. I’m gonna have to disagree and say I think the whole repeated use ‘you lie like this and that’ is pretty neat to me. I like this single, and if Taylor Swift’s kiss-off songs were this clever, I could get into that too.

    But I’m with you on the hair.

  18. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    I think I mostly don’t like it because the melody seems weak. I’ve heard it a few times now and still couldn’t sing any part of it to you.

  19. Jon,
    Maybe we’re differing on the meaining of “misused” too?

  20. BobNo Gravatar

    I was checking some “lying” songs and found the “lie like a rug” expression in Trisha Yearwood’s “Too Bad You’re No Good”. But as Delbert McClinton sang, in a song he wrote with Gary Nicholson, If you can’t “Lie No Better” than that, you may as well tell the truth.

  21. Yeah, I would have accepted something like “lie like a rug” for what it was, but a whole song that punctuates lying like a liar with examples of slothfulness is too cutesy for me I guess.

  22. I figured their uses for the word “lie” might be a turn-off for some people, but I didn’t mind it. I actually liked this better than “Picture to Burn.” (And while I don’t mind “Picture to Burn” as much as some people do, I can’t think of much stuff Taylor’s done that was worse)

    While I didn’t care for the “My daddy’s gonna straighten you out” line, it seemed to me like it was a relatively small part of this song, while that same concept as used in “Picture to Burn” (“Daddy’s gonna show you how sorry you’ll be”) seemed much more central to song’s overall theme. I hope that makes sense.

  23. Jon G.No Gravatar

    Yeah, I suppose I was nitpicking just a little bit on that, Leeann.

  24. This album is very great and sounds very awesome!! I really like it!

  25. @Ben… I think you are right that lie may not sit right with some people, but it works for me.

  26. SheepNo Gravatar

    Well I love this song! Honestly, I don’t understand the dislike for the lyrics… or the lyrics of “If I Die Young” either. The Band Perry is becoming my favorite country group. This song is catchy, it makes sense, and its nice and sassy. I agree that the “I oughtta kill you right now…” line is weak, but I thought there were some very funny lines throughout. “You lie like the man with the slicked-back hair who sold me that Ford,” gives me chuckles every time.

  27. I like this song even less than when I reviewed it and the use of “lie” doesn’t even have much to do with it anymore. Like a number of Brad Paisley songs, the “cleverness” gets old after awhile. Just as I can’t hear the same punch line from a commedian too many times before I stop laughing at the joke, I can’t hear the same gimmicky song without being bored.

  28. Steve GehlenNo Gravatar

    I’ve been listening to country music for over 30 years and have performed and written many songs. My concern is that your review is really narrow minded. These lyrics are a lot of fun (to sing and to listen to). Like a lot of country music, the song doesn’t take itself too seriously and that is a virtue of country over other music genres. This is a well-written song and the performance of it captures the sense of fun the writers were trying to communicate.

    I’m afraid it just makes the reviewer look bad because they didn’t get what was intended.