CD Review: Dierks Bentley, Feel that Fire

By on February 11, 2009

Phoenix-born Dierks Bentley released his fourth studio album on Feb. 3, “Feel That Fire.” The album is a blend of traditional bluegrass roots and modern country vocals, and is certainly not confined to its genre. Even the most avid anti-country listeners can appreciate the musical fullness and songwriting talents of Bentley.

The diversity of “Fire’s” tracks ranges from the lovesick ballad, “Wish It Would Break,” to the irresistible single and album title, “Feel That Fire.” The cockiness of his King of the Road-esque “Life on the Run” is humbled by religious affirmations on “Pray” and “Better Believer.” Bentley’s band drives “Fire” with its unique fullness, drawing aspects of everything from Spanish to folksy roots; everything south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

This album is the epitome of traditional country music – complete with lyrics about lone cowboys and duets with Patty Griffin. (Not kidding – “Beautiful World” features Griffin, while Ronnie Mccoury helps out on the blue-grass track “Last Call.”) What sets “Fire” apart, though, is its verification that Bentley was no one-hit-wonder with 2003’s “What Was I Thinking.”

Although clearly standard to its country domain, the album displays more talent and diversity than Bentley’s previous attempts. In the end, “Fire” proves that this cowboy will be around for quite a while – and that his flame is far from burning out.

Report Card:
Listenability: A-
Originality: B-
Lyrics: B
Final Grade: B


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