Music Review: Good ol’ boy shows fans deeper side

Platinum-selling country singer Dierks Bentley is covering a lot of ground in his ol’ cowboy boots, but the singer looks to hang them up on his third record, “Long Trip Alone.”Known for catchy tunes such as “What Was I Thinkin'” off his self-titled debut album and “Lot of Leavin’ Left to Do” from his sophomore effort “Modern Day Drifter,” Bentley follows in the footsteps of his partying forefathers Willie Nelson and Hank Williams Jr.

But could this Arizona rebel be settling down just a bit?

Don’t worry – Bentley doesn’t shy away from songs about the good ol’ country boy life on “Trip” either.

With two albums under his belt, Bentley is trying out a few new styles on “Trip.” Expect to hear more of Bentley’s voice, less powerful guitars – and a softer side, one that sounds as if he’s in love.

In “That Don’t Make It Easy Loving Me” and “Can’t Live It Down,” Bentley sings about his gambling ways and women throwing their double-D bras on stage – more of what fans have come to expect from today’s country bad boy.

Unlike his more famous songs, though, tracks on his third album are less geared toward melody and more toward showing fans his deeper side.

Many tracks contain a more poetic feel, such as the CD’s first single, “Every Mile of Memory.” In the song, Bentley laments to his lost love, “Red sundown/ out across the western sky/ Takes me back/ to the fire in your eyes.”

Unfortunately, Bentley also gets poetic in songs about religion in two tunes – two too many.

The clich‚d songs about a heaven for all kinds of people and need for the Lord’s guidance are bores for listeners tired of the Religious Right infiltration into the genre.

“Trip” may turn off fans who only want songs about beer drinking and rambling but could gain listeners who crave songs with substance.

Song to download: “Long Trip Alone.