Single Review: The Band Perry, "Better Dig Two"

An ambitious effort, but not quite as airtight as one would hope.

“Better Dig Two,” the first single from The Band Perry’s forthcoming sophomore album, sports a cool and

slightly eerie sound that makes it oddly addictive – a feeling that is nicely enhanced by low banjo plucking, leading up to a searing fiddle solo in the song’s bridge.

Though the lyrics convey the narrator’s undying love for her spouse, the overall tone of the song is one not of romance, but of desperation.  The narrator recognizes that she has formed such a close attachment to her love that to lose him, be it by death or divorce, would destroy her.  The lyrics are spiced up with a few clever turns of phrase, but they could potentially have benefited from added specificity, as it’s unclear why she sounds so fearful of the union coming to a heartbreaking end. (Granted, this is the same woman who not too long ago was singing about what her burial plans would be if overtaken by young death)

Unfortunately, the record suffers from a view ill-advised attempts to polish it up.  The synthetic hand claps come across as somewhat gaudy and out of character with the song.  The bass line feels intrusive.   Also, what’s with the exaggerated twang in Kimberly’s voice during the chorus?  Perhaps such additions were motivated by commercial concerns, yet the trio’s past few singles were able to succeed at radio largely without resorting to gimmicks.

But those little hiccups don’t stop “Better Dig Two” from being one of the most interesting and organic-sounding new tunes with a shot at radio airplay.  It’s great to hear the Perry siblings tweaking their formula, and it definitely raises anticipation for what surprises they might have in store for their second album outing.

Written by Trevor Rosen, Shane McAnally, and Brandy Clark

Grade:  B

Listen: 

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21 Comments

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21 Responses to Single Review: The Band Perry, "Better Dig Two"

  1. LynnNo Gravatar

    I don’t know if you’ve had the chance to listen to the demo of this song by Kacey Musgraves, Ben, but I love Kacey’s eerie vocals on it, so I was excited for this record. I still love this version by The Band Perry, but the production kinda tarnished it for me.

  2. No, I haven’t heard the Musgraves version. Do you know where I could find it?

  3. LynnNo Gravatar

    ^^I think they took it out of the Soundcloud website after this version came out. But someone was able to record it from the site, I’ll find the link for you.

  4. LynnNo Gravatar

    ^^I found this link for the Kacey Musgraves demo at the Band Perry thread at Pulse:

    http://www.sendspace.com/file/3rxor4

    You’ll have to use earphones to be able to listen properly, the volume is a bit soft.

  5. TomNo Gravatar

    …fascinating, this boy with girl band makes the rootsiest and most organic mountain music on the mainstream country airwaves by far. not to mention that this fits this smashing trio like the proverbial glove to a sure hand.

    while the ultra-traditional banjo & fiddle quite often have the slightly unwanted side effect of making a contemporary song sounding somewhat dated, it works quite to the contrary in this case and the clapping is like the bright red cherry in a thick bed of whipped cream on top of a rather dark serving.

    to me, one of the songs of the year already. mighty cool stuff.

  6. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Very good review. This’d be an A- for me. I like all the production elements and the lyrics, and just think the chorus melody is what keeps it from home-run territory. Very happy to see the band moving in this direction; like “If I Die Young” proved, they hit a unique sweet spot when they blend their natural cutesiness with some darker elements, rather than just sticking to the cutesiness alone (as with pretty much everything else on their debut).

  7. Ditto to this review and ditto to Dan. I like their sound mixed with creepiness.

  8. bobNo Gravatar

    I still enjoy playing their debut album and look forward to their new cd. Ditto on Leeann’s comments for “Better Dig Two”.

  9. Motown MikeNo Gravatar

    I’d pay large of money, upwards of $5 to be able to here an acoustic version of this song. That said, even with the pounding electric guitar, I enjoy this single a lot.

  10. kerwinNo Gravatar

    At last! A cool sounding country song.
    It’s an A- for me for the sound and the spooky lyrics.

  11. I quite like this. It’s my favourite so far from this group.

  12. RichardNo Gravatar

    Note, however, the similarities with “Dig Two Graves” – the Ashley Gorley co-write (recorded by Randy Travis) that was nominated for a grammy ….

  13. Didn’t I read somewhere that Rick Reuben was going to produce their next album? Does anyone know if this was produced by him?

  14. To answer my own question…Yup, it does look like Rick Reuben produced this.:)

  15. KentNo Gravatar

    I have to agree, this song is very sonically pleasing. I especially love that opening banjo riff.

  16. Joe J.No Gravatar

    Really like this song! Finds the right balance of creepiness without turning off the listener. Rick rubin produce Tom Petty’s “wildflowers,” one of his more honest and earthiest outings. Rubin’s style, coupled with TBP’s well honed talents, ought to make a truly fantastic piece of work.

  17. Yellow RoseNo Gravatar

    Totally agreeing with LYNN here. I really enjoyed listening to the demo version more than the version released by TBP. Thanks Lynn!

  18. KentNo Gravatar

    Joe J.,

    I like your choice in words. It is indeed a very “earthy” song (pun intended).

  19. wmcmNo Gravatar

    @Leeann: I know The Band Perry’s worked with Rick Rubin for their new album but this song is actually produced by Dann Huff not Rick Rubin. I can’t provide a link but if you check the charts in the Billboard print issue then it’s listed as Dann Huff producing.

  20. Bobby P.No Gravatar

    You sure on this? Huff’s production is never this creative.

  21. CountryKnightNo Gravatar

    Hate to go off topic.

    But does any one know the song title to a country Christmas song that has lyrics like “Santa at the Pilot Travel center” “Rudolph riding in the middle, Santa riding shotgun”

    Thanks.

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