Dierks Bentley’s new album is his most assured. ( James Minchin III)

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.


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.

Chris Richards is The Washington Post's pop music critic. He has recently written about Future's ability to torque time, Rihanna's reign over the selfie surveillance state, and the authoritarian hold music used at Donald Trump's rallies.