Dierks Bentley recently announced that he will release his eighth studio album, Black, early this year. Bentley calls the new album a “relationship record”, saying that the project will take him down a darker path than his fans may be used to. Bentley goes on to say that, “the songs on Black range from the lonesomeness of an impossible relationship to ones that describe the feeling of finding the person that makes you forget the one that broke your heart.” On the album’s name, Dierks says that “Black is mysterious and sexy and has an edge that describes the sounds we were going for. A lot of it happens after dark, in the black of night. It’s personal too, Black is my wife’s maiden name.” Sounds promising right?
As a big Dierks fan, I’m always excited for new music, and reading all the details about the new record only heightened my excitement. From what Dierks says, this record sounds like it just might be a career record, the best from him yet. It sounded like we were going to get more of Riser, only even deeper. Alas, the lead single, “Somewhere On A Beach” has me a bit worried now. Dierks described this record as being a bit darker and deeper, but if “Somewhere On A Beach” is any indication of what’s to come on this record, I admit, I’m a little lost as to how it could be described as “deep”. The song is basically a bawdier sequel to “Drunk On A Plane”.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I liked “Drunk On A Plane”. Was it his best song? No, but it was catchy and fun. Sadly, where “Drunk On A Plane” somewhat serves a purpose as a fun, lighter, incredibly catchy song all the while having a solid storyline, “Somewhere On A Beach” doesn’t seem to have a purpose at all, other than attempting to outdo Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan in the “girl you’re so fine, come give me some sugar” department.
This song is just a little hard to swallow coming from Dierks, a veteran in the genre and a married father of three who has just entered his forties. It would be different if the song was coming from one of the Bros like FGL, Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell, etc… but it’s not. Instead, the single is coming from an artist whom we know can do a LOT better than this song.
“Somewhere On A Beach” features a chilled out, R&B and Blues flavored sound, and finds the narrator sending a message to his ex that he’s over her, that he’s definitely not pining over the loss. Instead, the narrator is on the beach and, evidently, has a new girl who’s got it going on. Think Luke Bryan’s “Home Alone”, only less sleazy. Ultimately, you could say that this song picks up where “Drunk On A Plane” leaves off. The guy who was getting drunk on the plane after being stood up at the altar, is now somewhere on a beach with a new girl, possibly the one on the plane…
My main issue with this single is the lyrical content. The songwriting is quite weak on this song, featuring possibly one of the worst lines of 2016 (coming in second to a line in Steven Tyler’s new single). At one point in the song, Dierks sings, “She’s got a body, and she’s naughty”. Isn’t exactly the most creative or profound line we’ve ever heard, is it? My first thought when I heard this line for the first time was, “alright, she’s got a body… is that really a necessary thing that needs pointing out? Are there women walking around the beach without a body?” It’s just such an odd line, lacking any kind of creativeness or originality.
I’m personally not a fan of the song, but evidently I’m in the minority, as “Somewhere On A Beach” was the most added song on country radio this week. The single currently sits at #26 on the Hot Country Chart and #29 on the Country Aircheck chart. There’s no doubt that Dierks’ fan base will boost the single into the Top 20 and possibly the Top 10. His last three singles have all been Top 10 hits. But as for me, I’ll just wait for the next single and hope that “Somewhere On A Beach” isn’t a foreshadow of what’s to come on Black.
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