Artist: Dierks Bentley
Label: Capitol Records
Release Date: 05/27/2016
Multi-Platinum singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley has got so much to say about relationships, he wrote an entire album of songs about love, lust, relationships, breakups, and various other adventures of the heart. Black, his eighth album, draws its title from the maiden name of Bentley’s wife, Cassidy, but it doubles to describe the new relationship thrill of sex and intimacy on the title cut.
This album sports a variety of styles, some tracks would be right at home on the latest U2 album, and others are unmistakably “country” with several varieties in between. The first single, “Somewhere on a Beach,” has already marched up the Billboard Country Charts, but there are better songs deeper in. A funny song about all-too-common drunk-dialing called “What the Hell Did I Say,” uses the lines, “What the hell did I say/ Gotta dial it up again/ I’m writing out those lines that fell out drunk at 3 AM.” Bentley really captures the amused confusion of the morning after the night before.
“Different for Girls,” a duet with Elle King, is musically delightful but the lyrics are just more of the same stereotypes that perpetuate in male dominated country radio. It’s a missed opportunity and the song falls flat because of it. One of the more traditional and radio friendly tunes, “Can’t Be Replaced,” is a poignant tune with beautiful vocals and great steel guitar work. Another track, “Light It Up,” is arguably the best song on the album, with a beautiful catchy melody, great lyrics and Bentley’s wonderful heartfelt performance on vocals.
Bentley knows his trade, and it’s obvious he’s used life and experience to help him craft this album. Black is all about dealing with issues of the heart and Bentley promises an incredibly candid listen.
– Laura Sedor