If you’ve ever looked down your nose at country music, it might be because so many artists seem to suffer some form of multiple-personality disorder.
To wit: Dierks Bentley’s new album, “Home,” finds him cast as lover man, party bro, proud patriot, dedicated dad. Throughout his career, he has gone from bar-crawling lothario to devoted husband from one song to the next.
But so what? Like an actor playing a role, great country singers inhabit their songs and make them sound like they’re living it all right before your ears. When it works, it feels Oscar-worthy. When it doesn’t, it feels suspect, like a politician doling out sweet nothings on the stump.
Dierks Bentley is a great country singer.
“Home,” out Tuesday, is his seventh and most assured album, with the 36-year-old Arizona native singing from an array of vantage points with a sure-footedness that wasn’t always totally there. He’s penned a few goofy party anthems over the years, but with the indelible gallop of “Am I the Only One,” you can finally taste the beer. Elsewhere, he’s a homesick family man, a nine-to-fiver pining for escape and a jilted lover in denial.
Bentley says it’s no act. “I’ve been the guy who had the broken heart where your hair falls out in the shower,” he says. “With country music, you have to be a little older and have gone through life. I can hear great singers who have never had their heart broken. I can hear it right away.”
Read the full profile from today’s Washington Post.