Single Review: The Band Perry, “Comeback Kid”

“Comeback Kid”
The Band Perry

Written by Kimberly Perry, Reid Perry and Neil Perry

It may be tempting to read a bit too far into the title of The Band Perry’s latest single “Comeback Kid” after the poor chart performance of “Live Forever” followed by their departure from Republic Nashville and near disappearance from the awards show circuit. If nothing else, the trio’s Mercury Nashville debut “Comeback Kid” dials back the bombast of the trio’s previous single, but still shows no sign of recapturing the spark of their early releases.

“Comeback Kid” is a thoroughly uninspired, forced-out composition. It recycles a trite phrase for its title hook and fills out the better part of the lyric sheet with clichés right from opening line, “They like to kick you when you’re down/ They like it better when you’re down on the ground.” There’s no real insight into the nature of the adversities that the narrator has to overcome, and the narrator is too flat a character for us to identify with her.

I remember loving The Band Perry’s sound, full of unapologetic fiddle and mandolin, when they released their first album six years ago. I remember thinking that they could be one of the coolest acts on country radio if they just fine-tuned their lyrics. Now that sound seems to be history and the lyrics are worse than they’ve ever been. Instead of inching closer to their potential, they’ve lost the traits that made them stand out in the first place. That makes me sad.

Grade: C


  1. Great to see a single review from one of my favorite writers of this site.

    I actually bought The Band Perry’s debut album on opening week based on “If I Die Young” alone. The album while having some lyrical missteps was overall solid. Standouts being “Double Heart” and “Lasso” two songs that should have been released as singles but I digress. “Better Dig Two” was a welcoming edgy sound I liked, but their sophomore album undwewhelmed me at best. Then the pile of garbage that is “Live Forever” that essentially ended their careers.

    The Band Perry had all the potential in the world and they squandered it for nothing. The group is about as irrelevant as it gets, heck Rascal Flatts and Lady Antebellum are more relevant and outside of “I Like the Sound Of That” for the former they’ve basically haven’t made much success since 2015, but at least they have a sense of artistic direction, they know what they are and what makes people like their music, The Band Perry had no clear sense of direction and that is why they have fallen off the map in relevance.

    As for this song. Yeah there’s a reason it flopped, the lack of beat awful production and the subtle dig at country radio doomed this one from the beginning.

    Overall I’m going to say a D to D+.

  2. I agree that “the lyrics are worse than they’ve ever been” and it sounds awful.
    I still like their debut album – most frequently played song on i-tunes is Double Heart. On Pioneer, the only frequently played song is Better Dig Two (Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally and Trevor Rosen).

  3. After “If I Die Young”, I think the three were at their best when they did “Gentle On My Mind” for the Glen Campbell documentary I’LL BE ME; and given that their roots and that of that song (written by John Hartford) are in bluegrass, it could be considered their high point.

    But when they step so far out of what they do best, like here on “Comeback Kid”, it just doesn’t seem all that great, just an attempt at getting a hit, and not much else. And while it may be heresy to say, I’ve never been a fan of Kimberly Perry’s voice; she doesn’t know how to find a good balance, either falling flat or just warbling (IMHO).

  4. A jarring single, and God the narrator in this song is like an annoying brat than someone who’s wounded and headed for a rebound. Ugh.

  5. This song completely lacks self-awareness.

    It also reminds me of “Fight Song” by Rachael Platten (not a country song, but neither is this). They’re both so vague that it’s really hard to care about or relate to the narrators.

    Even when The Band Perry’s early lyrics didn’t work, they were quirky and unique. Now there’s none of that, and they genuinely seem to have no clue why they’re getting criticism. It’s actually fascinating to watch, though sad.

    On a different note, it’s good to see another Ben review!

  6. Thanks for all the kind words, friends. It’s good to be posting again. Hopefully you’ll hear from me a bit more frequently in 2017!

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