If you were worried what direction Dierks Bentley’s new Black album would take after hearing “Somewhere on a Beach,” all you had to do was wait. Dierks (or really, his label) sure don’t make it easy on his fans, but those who’ve stuck with Dierks through “Drunk on a Plane” and others know he’ll always come back around to releasing music that sets the bar for substance in the mainstream.
Dave Cobb’s win for Producer of the Year speaks to just what kind of inroads more independently-minded and organic country music is making in the industry. Compared to the heavy-handed production practices that prevail throughout the country music industry, Dave Cobb took a very relaxed approach to producing Chris Stapleton’s ‘Traveller,’ and you can’t argue with the results.
“Noise” is not a bad song. It’s not a good one either, and it’s certainly not country. But it’s not bad. And is it better than Bro-Country or some island ballad? I guess it is, but only as the lesser of evils. The problem here is that the song takes itself too seriously, and it’s built from the same stupid formula Kenny Chesney has used before.
Look, I don’t want to make too much of this, because in the end, what’s in a name? I didn’t really get too exercised over it (har har) until I saw award-winning songwriter (and #55 on SCM’s Greatest Country Songwriters of All Time) Don Schlitz tweet out about it, “Hey Mark Buffalino: you’re an idiot. And that’s my nice tweet.” But this has got to be the most dumb and over-thought decision I’ve seen in a long time.
We have entered a new era in country music where the ambitions and influences an artist shows up to Nashville with are patently irrelevant, and all that matters now is finding a seat at a shrinking table and making whatever concessions one must to secure your spot. It’s a cutthroat version of musical chairs, with the participants most willing to sell out the hardest having a distinct advantage.
As the first single from his currently-unnamed sophomore album, Eldredge dons an expensive suit and does his best Justin Timberlake impression as he sips on a Scotch and lets the impossibly-hot Rachel Hilbert playing nurse feel him up. Because what could be more country than that? Oh, and there’s a song mixed in there somewhere too called “Lose My Mind.” It’s about a hot girl that’s so hot it makes him crazy.