Dierks BentleyThere’s more to mainstream country
than Rascall Flatts
Dierks Bentley wants to be everything
to every country-music fan, and for the most part, he pulls it off.
There’s the badass (“Life On The Run”), the lover (“I Wanna
Make You Close Your Eyes”) and, of course, the blessing counter
(“Beautiful World”). Although not entirely distinguishable from
his last record, Feel That Fire effortlessly runs the gamut
from classic country to twang to rock and pop. Behind some typical
mainstream cheese (“I just wanna lay here and feel you breathe /
Listen to the rhythm of your heartbeat”—ugh) are likable
melodies, a smooth tenor and even smoother Nashville instrumentation
and production. As usual, Bentley co-wrote every song, and Patty
Griffin joins him for a charming duet—so at the very least, he’s
cool by association.