Videos by American Songwriter
The Band Perry, “Better Dig Two”
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
A dark, moody country-rocker in the vein of Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” and Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead,” the Platinum-selling “Better Dig Two” puts a new spin on the “country girl scorned” tradition. For starters, this particular woman — vocalist Kimberly Perry — isn’t being scorned. She’s pledging her love to a fictional husband, claiming she’d rather die than stumble through live without him. On paper, the lyrics are heartfelt and romantic, filled with the sort of lovey-dovey couplets your poetry professor might’ve forced you to memorize (“If divorce or death ever do us part / The coroner will call it a broken heart”).
Set to a backdrop of drum machines and synthesized strings, though, those words sound sinister, as though Perry plans to keep her man faithful by threatening suicide. A minor-key banjo riff kicks things off, and the song builds itself into an anthem by the time the chorus come rolling it, punctuated by distorted guitars and cymbal crashes. Two fiddles dance circles around one another during the solo, a half-hearted reminder that “Better Dig Two” is supposed to be a country song in spite of its hip-hop percussion and Top 40 pop hooks. Still, it’s interesting to hear a Nashville act rhyme “won’t be meth” with “my last breath,” and the overall song — written by a trio of Music City hitmakers, none of whom are actually in the band — does what it’s meant to do. It sticks with you… just not always for the right reasons.