Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Dierks Bentley – Woman, Amen

And now a reading from the gospel according to Dierks…


Alfred Soto: Guy, loser.

Katie Gill: Song vs. song in the Unintentionally Patronizing Title Battle: “Woman, Amen” vs. “Female.” “Woman, Amen” edges out as worst title for me, just because my brain automatically goes to a reference I suspect Bentley never intended to make. The Unintentionally Patronizing Lyrics Battle goes to Urban. While “Female” dips straight into condescending, “Woman, Amen” is just DULL. It’s another song that falls into the obnoxious country music trend of describing how much you love this woman by how much she gives you. Can’t you at least throw in an obligatory lyric about her smile or how she fills in the jeans or something that’s a hint of a personality?

Micha Cavaseno: You know, how impressed should any woman feel that their value is limited to sounding like a travel advertisement? Bentley’s just kind of lyrically waxing about how much God (presumably a dude in his eyes, let’s be real) gave him this woman to fix all the parts of him that he, a solitary human individual, couldn’t fix within himself and make him feel whole and satisfactory. And in his praise he turns in something that sounds like he won a all-expense paid trip to a ski resort. Both sublimely divorced from love above and before, and with a meager, pinched delivery to boot.

Thomas Inskeep: I’ve seen this described elsewhere as “surging,” “driving,” “soaring” — and that’s precisely the problem. Journeyman Matt Chamberlain’s drums are mixed far too loudly; it sounds like Bentley’s attempting to make a U2 single, all “uplift” and bombast. It’s sung great, of course, and the song is fine, if not exceptional, but the production and mix here kill it. Check out this bluegrass-y take on the song and think of what could’ve been. 

Alex Clifton: Feels like Mumford & Sons from 2012 but with decidedly more fun. “Woman, Amen” is pretty standard stuff — I love my wife, she gives me strength, I’d be lost in the woods without her — but it’s upbeat and driving and feels like an actual, overjoyed prayer, leaving any mawkish moaning well behind. It’s less a track of women’s empowerment (well, that’s a generous reading of Keith Urban’s “Female”) and more of a tale of love, which sounds like a complaint, but honestly I mean it as a compliment. I’m sick of dudes writing “female empowerment” songs that try to understand what women go through and fail miserably. I’d rather have Bentley’s take, which is a more universal story of love with actual goddamn feeling behind it.

Will Adams: Impersonal, bland and market-tested enough to suggest that he might be singing about his Range Rover instead of his wife.

Reader average: [8] (1 vote)

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