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Album review: Dierks Bentley's 'Feel That Fire'

February 1, 2009 |  3:11 pm


Ever since his 2003 breakthrough hit "What Was I Thinkin'," Dierks Bentley has been trying to convince us that he's a devil-may-care bad boy. The Phoenix-born singer and songwriter is at it again here in several of the new songs on "Feel That Fire," his fourth studio collection. Trouble is, there's never been an ounce of menace in his boy-next-door vocals, so there's a credibility gap in those performances, no matter how catchy they are.

He paints himself as king of the one-night stand in "Life on the Run," plays a party-hearty barfly in "Sideways" and stands in awe of his female counterpart in the title song. He also takes on the role of the ready-and-willing love god in "I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes," before revealing his deep commitment to his spiritual nature in "Better Believer" and "Pray."

Bentley's best face this time out is the bluegrass guise he adopts for Ronnie McCoury's "Last Call," an acoustic rave-up salute to the healing power of the honky-tonk, with McCoury and his mountain-music-making pals along for the alcohol-fueled ride.

-Randy Lewis

Dierks Bentley
"Feel That Fire"
(Capitol Nashville)
Two stars

Photo credit: Rob Loud/Getty Images