When it comes to Dierks Bentley, I’ve always been a big fan of his. In fact, he’s always been one of my favorite artists in mainstream country music. Hell, his albums have always delivered consistent quality, and his singles have always been good to great (minus a few duds, looking at you “5-1-5-0”)
In 2010 he released a bluegrass album of all things at a time when he was looking to break into the “A-list”. That’s really when he earned my upmost respect as an artist. You could tell the project came from passion rather than dollar signs, and when the album was as good as it was, it was a huge victory for mainstream country.
Now let’s flash forward to earlier this year, more specifically January. When Dierks Bentley released the lead single to his album, Black titled “Somewhere On A Beach”, I wasn’t worried. Despite that song being absolutely awful, I had hopes that Dierks would still deliver. Well, he didn’t really on his new album, and to be honest, it was a disappointing listen for me. So on that note, how do I feel about his newest single, the title track of this album?
Well I’ll say this, I probably like it more than I should. I don’t think Black in and of itself is a great song or one of Bentley’s better singles, but I also think there’s a little more effort present here compared to your other slew of sex songs on country radio.
What I can appreciate about this song is the atmosphere it’s trying to convey. It begins with some honestly pretty good drum work that leads into a darker, spacier atmosphere. That atmosphere is also bolstered by smoother, more liquid guitar work. Hey, if nothing else, there’s at least an emotional passion here. Depending on how far you want to take the whole “country or not country” argument will definitely make or break this song in regards to this element however. For me, I can appreciate it.
When it comes to the lyrics, well, look I’ll give Bentley credit here and say that while this song focuses on nothing but the act in question, at least the album expands more on the feelings of love. In other words, it’s somewhat of a concept album. As a stand alone song however, I’m left wishing we had a little more meat to this song besides just “hey, I really want you. Let’s do it”. It’s not lyrically bad per se, it just could have been better.
The one element that I don’t feel holds up all that well however is Dierks Bentley’s vocals. Like I said, the song is trying for more of an emotional passion, and that extends to Bentley’s vocals. You can tell he’s trying to really throw himself into this song. The problem is that there’s parts such as the chorus where they just sound very jarring next to the production. In other words, his vocals aren’t a good fit for this type of song.
Like I said though, there’s a limit to how hard I can be on this song. It’s not as if there isn’t some effort present here. The problem for me is in the execution. It’s better than his last two singles at least, so that’s something to appreciate.
Author: Zackary Kephart