Modern Day Drifter
First Appeared in The Music Box, June 2005, Volume 12, #6
Written by T.J. Simon
Originally from Phoenix, Arizona but transplanted into the Nashville-based music scene, Dierks Bentleyís latest release Modern Day Drifter is a blast of Top-40-ish country built for the American masses. As far as that goes, Bentley does a decent job of lending a hint of traditional authenticity to his slickly-produced, Music Row output. The albumís opener Lot of Leaviní Left to Do is catchy, and it features guitar work and lyrics that are reminiscent of Waylon Jennings. Similarly, Domestic, Light, and Cold is a winning ode to beer drinking in the honky-tonk tradition of Hank Thompson or Asleep at the Wheel, while on Good Man Like Me, the Del McCoury Band makes a guest appearance and infuses the tune with a touch of genuine bluegrass.
Unfortunately, the remainder of Modern Day Drifter falls into the category of non-descript country. In other words, itís the sort of thing that attempts to appeal to the formatís lowest common denominator. Cab of My Truck, for example, is an up-tempo number that is destined someday to be a Ford commercial. Both Settle for a Slowdown and Come a Little Closer are bland ballads churned from the same, endless Nashville-ian assembly line. Although Bentleyís strong, deep-registered voice always sounds perfect, thereís just not a lot separating his world from the typically generic sounds of Country Music Televisionís weekly countdown show. Sadly, Bentley is probably the best thing happening in mainstream country music today, but this only proves that fans of the genre just arenít looking hard enough for good music.
Modern Day Drifter is available
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2005 The Music Box