Critical Voices: Dierks Bentley, Home

February 9, 2012

Amid Dierks Bentley’s newest tracks, the country star’s daughter makes an unexpected yet heartwarming appearance on his latest album, Home. Taken from a voicemail left by his three-year-old daughter for her touring father, the clip features her singing a verse of “Thinking of You” along with an acoustic guitar. Well known for his party songs, Bentley’s inclusion of his daughter in this album points to a turn toward family life in the artist’s career.

After releasing nearly a decade’s worth of albums carefully crafted to fit the Nashville standard, Dierks Bentley made a much-needed journey into the roots of country music with his release of Up on the Ridge. Instead of continuing in this path, however, Bentley returns to his heretofore successful yet formulaic structure in Home, which results in a perfectly sound, if not incredibly innovative, album.

The first three tracks on the LP are classic party-till-the-morning-light anthems, which differentiate themselves from the pack by playing up Bentley’s personal quirks and classic style. Bentley’s characteristic lyrical humor shines on “Am I the Only One,” which also boasts a banjo-infused intro that seems to have migrated from his work on Up On The Ridge. “5-1-5-0” also features a number of unusually audible banjo and pedal steel sections, which drive the witty lyrics of the love song forward at a rapid pace and offer the listener a much-needed respite from the over-distorted Telecaster noise issuing from Nashville.

Along with a number of party songs, Home features several ubiquitous slow love songs that Bentley seems to have perfected over his career. “Thinking of You” is in many ways the epitome of this type of music; the pedal steel and electric guitars follow each line of each verse, emphasizing the unconditional love flowing through the lyrics: “You’re always the first and the last thing on this heart of mine.” Juxtaposed with his daughter’s clip, “Thinking of You” shows that perhaps Home refers less to Bentley’s musical journey, and more to his personal one.

Dierks Bentley’s transformation of his own experiences into inspirational lyrics proves that, despite its lack of diversity in subject matter, this album is the work of an artist at the top of his game. Whether it is the stay-single-and-stay-free attitude of “Diamonds Make Babies,” the carefree nature of “Tip It On Back,” or the heartbreak of “In My Head,” a piece of Home will resonate with every listener.

Voice’s Choices: “Home,” “Diamonds Make Babies”

Kirill Makarenko
Former Assistant Leisure Editor


Read More

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments