Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Dierks Bentley – Bourbon in Kentucky

Tracy Flick aged TERRIBLY. Discuss!


Alfred Soto: Stretching vowels like he’s downed a bottle of Maker’s Mark already, Bentley acts like his boringness is someone else’s problem and concentrates on the guitarists stage left. Whoever persuaded him to act like Tim McGraw on the chorus should be cut off.

Brad Shoup: We did “Tip It On Back,” now we’ve got this. In between, Bentley opened a bar featuring one of the worst-sounding gimmicks since Nick invented Guys’ Night on New Girl. I gotta say, I’m getting a couple contrasting messages. The start crawls so arthritically, I figured a sprint was due. But nah, he’s just walking into the wind. Stingy phrasing lends the whole thing a unsteady feeling, and some of the imagery is so good I suspect Kacey Musgraves did more than sing on it.

Anthony Easton: This sounds drowned in sadness and regret, even before the first line — and the first line is a corker, run low to the ground, and almost exhausted. The list sort of works itself out, with enough detail to work past the generic, and when it finally resolves, it does so into clockwork sounds and mild guitar noise. Kacey Musgraves matches him line for line, word for word; there is a mutuality of regret and exhaustion in their loathing, and it adds complexity to a song that might have just been a tiny joke otherwise.

Ramzi Awn: The synths riding their way into the intro promise a reverb-drenched sprawl of a country duet, and that’s exactly what Bentley has cooked up with “Bourbon in Kentucky.” The production is pitch-perfect and sugarcoated, and Musgraves’ voice glosses it beautifully. A good night for bourbon.    

Edward Okulicz: Once it staggers to its feet, “Bourbon in Kentucky” has all the muscular trappings of a big power ballad, but also comes with a headache the size of the entire continental forty-eight. The song flirts with melodic and lyrical cliche but doesn’t succumb; it’s a credit to Bentley that he sings it as if he’s still in the love-lost, hungover daze that the lyrics speak of. The final chorus where it gets loud and tries to rock is so impotent, and a great bit of play-acting from Bentley.

Cédric Le Merrer: There definitely ain’t enough songs sounding like early Wilco covering “All Of The Umbrellas In London.”

Reader average: [6.5] (2 votes)

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