My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Single Review: Dierks Bentley – ‘Am I The Only One?’

Dierks Bentley’s bluegrass-infused and artistically adventurous Up On The Ridge having failed to score any major radio hits to match the critical acclaim, he is now moving on to a new album, due out later this year. Understandably, it appears that he is reverting to a more radio-friendly sound, at least with the lead single. Other reviews have been disappointed by this song, but I would cautiously differ from that judgment.

This song is, admittedly, clearly a calculated attempt at regaining his automatic-play status at country radio. Lyrically, it is basically a cheery Friday evening go-out-drinking song, with the protagonist abandoned by his old drinking buddies and then hooking up with a similarly lonely “country cutie”. It is not groundbreaking (which should make it fit in just right with radio playlists) but it is an enjoyable enough single and far from the worst of what’s on offer on the airwaves. Dierks wrote the neatly constructed song with producer Jon Randall Stewart and Jim Beavers.

Musically it is almost a ramped up version of the title track of Up On The Ridge, opening with punchy banjo rolls and guitar licks. Things get a bit more raucous when we hit the chorus as the electric guitars get a workout, but although it is a little louder than I would ideally like, the production is not overwhelming . In fact, this feels mroe like a progression from rather than the complete departure from Up On The Ridge I had feared it might be. That should not have been a surprise, as Dierks has kept Stewart, who helmed the last project, as producer for the new project. Dierks’ vocals sound good, with the distinctive grain in his voice strongly in evidence, particularly in the superior first half of the song.

It does come off the rails a little at the end, with the cliche’d relapse into a barroom chorus. On the whole, however, I think this should achieve the desired radio play to encourage sales of the new album, without completely selling out to commercial demands. Just a few weeks after its release, it’s already higher on the charts than the lovely ‘Draw Me A Map’ managed in its entire run last year.

Grade: B

5 responses to “Single Review: Dierks Bentley – ‘Am I The Only One?’

  1. Ben Foster April 26, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Seems like if I’m really not feeling a song, a sing-along chorus at the end is usually just the thing to do it in for me. It always feels like they’re trying to convince me that I should like the song because other people like it. As I was first listening to this song, I was trying very hard to be open-minded and to find something to commend, but I thought the song thoroughly buried itself at the end.

    I might actually like the Brad Paisley song “I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin’ Song)” if not for the sing-along. As far as Paisley novelty tunes go, that one’s not too bad, but all that screaming just totally ruins it for me.

  2. danny barker April 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    WHY ARE RADIO PROGRAMERS THINK THEY KNOW WHAT WE LIKE TO HEAR?DO THEY ASK US. NO BECAUSE THEY DO NOT CARE WHAT WE THINK.YOU TRY TO ASK THEM TO PLAY A SONG YOU WANT TO HEAR THEY SAY IT NOT ON THE LIST I WILL TRIED TO FIND BUT YOU NEVER HEAR IT. JUST ANOTHER COP OUT. THAT HOW I FEEL.

  3. Jonathan April 27, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    The more I hear it, the more I really like this one. OH is right, it doesn’t do a complete 360 from Up On The Ridge, but rather draws from it to create a more mainstream sound that radio is likely to embrace with open arms.

    And for all those not in favor of Dierks heading down this route, he’s said that it isn’t representative of the album as a whole in terms of sound. It just makes me more and more curious to hear the rest of the project.

    This song may be his attempt to get back into the good graces of country radio, and from what I’ve heard being pushed at country radio lately, it’s one of the better songs. He sounds like he’s actually trying. This isn’t “Draw Me A Map,” but it’s still, to me, very good in its own right.

  4. Adrian Taylor May 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    I am a big fan of Dierks Bentley’s. He is one of the best country music artsits of all time. It is true that this song is very different from Up On The Ridge. Dierks has told his fans (aka: DB Congress) that he always wanted to do a bluegrass album. Hence the reason he did Up On The Ridge. All of Dierks’ albums have been great, and it seems as though he keeps getting better and better with each album that he puts out. Back in February, Dierks’ did a live stream and let his fans take part in the week long songwriting, music editing, vocal workout. Dierks’ provided us with an insight to this new album. How many other singers do you know that would do this? Like Dierks’ says in one song “I can only think of one” –and his name is Dierks Bentley! At his concerts, he has been preforming 2-3 of the new songs. One of course being “Am I The Only One”, another being “Fastback” and of course, “Diamonds Make Babies”. I have personally heard all of these songs, and love them all. I have voted numerous times on CMT and anywhere else I could for Dierks’ new song “Am I The Only One”. As well as I have requested it from numerous radio stations. A local radio station, even told me that “Am I The Only One” is becoming one of the most requested songs! With that being said, I think this is going to be another great hit for Dierks! And I am proud to be a member of the DB Congress! And a proud supporter/fan of Dierks Bentley! #GO WOLFPACK (for all of you that knows what that means!)

  5. Pingback: Album Review: Dierks Bentley – ‘Home’ « My Kind Of Country

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