My Kind of Country

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

Single Review: Dierks Bentley – ‘Home’

Patriotic songs have long been a staple of country music, and in recent years, we’ve heard quite a few of them. Too much of anything can wear thin after a while, and even the most patriotic country music fans are bound to have grown weary of the steady diet of “God and country” songs they’ve been fed since the September 11th attacks a decade ago. But just when we’ve begun to think that the songwriters have run out of new ways to sing America’s praises, Dierks Bentley proves otherwise in his latest single.

Written by Bentley with Dan Wilson and Brett Beavers, “Home” is a tastefully produced record that avoids jingoism or overt references to the USA. Instead, he focuses on the country’s natural beauty, “from the mountains high to the wave-crashed coast” and acknowledges the challenges facing the nation, while maintaining a sense of optimism that these challenges will eventually be overcome. The production is fairly stripped down in the beginning, and slowly builds up to a more anthemic feel by the beginning of the second verse, without succumbing to the temptation of bombastic overproduction. “Home’s” message is simple — “it’s been a long hard ride, got a ways to go, but this is still the place that we all call home” — and it’s a refreshing change from the more confrontational or support-the-troops pro-America songs that have dominated the airwaves for the past ten years.

Grade: A

6 responses to “Single Review: Dierks Bentley – ‘Home’

  1. Ken Johnson October 6, 2011 at 9:37 am

    If this single makes the top ten it will be the fifth time that a song bearing this title has become a country hit.

    Jim Reeves recording of the Roger Miller song hit #2 in 1959. Loretta Lynn’s performance of Bobby Hardin’s composition peaked at #10 in 1975. Joe Diffie’s debut single writtten by Andy Spooner & Fred Lehner doubled as his first #1 hit in 1990 and Alan Jackson’s self-penned recording was resurrected from his 1990 debut album for a 1996 single release that hit #3.

    For those who may not know song LYRICS can be copywrited but song TITLES cannot. Hence numerous songs may share the same title.

    • Jonathan Pappalardo October 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm

      Another addition to the list is Blake Shelton’s cover of Michael Bublé’s song “Home.” It hit #1 in 2008.

    • bob October 7, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      Ken, you sure are right about the copyright issue and that many songs share the same title. I was looking into this about a year and a half ago.

      As you may also know, Performing Rights Organizations such as ASCAP, BMI and SESAC keep track of the music used by radio stations and other entities using music and pay royalties to songwriters based on use. A songwriter can only be registered with one of the 3 PRO’s at a time. PRO websites can be used as research tools if you’re writing about songwriters or just want to find out who wrote a song or what other songs a songwriter or performer has to his credit. These organizations have lists of the songs registered by member songwriters on their websites. You can search by songwriter, artist or song title. Searching by title is often the most difficult. Checking BMI and ASCAP, I got over a thousand hits on each using the title “Home”. The fact that a song has been registered by a songwriter with a PRO does not mean that the song has been recorded. A writer may have 800 songs registered but maybe only 200 have actually been recorded. The rest may never be recorded or used in any other way but the rights of the songwriter for the lyrics and music are protected should they be.

    • luckyoldsun October 8, 2011 at 12:15 am

      True, titles can’t be copyrighted.
      But it would be one thing to lay claim to “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town,” “Okie From Muskogee,” “Stand By Your Man” or “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose”.
      It would be quite another to try to claim exclusive rights to “Home”. Or “Country Boy.”

      Somewhat surprisingly, even one-word group names can be trademarked. Willie, Waylon, Cash and Kristofferson ran into that when they started calling their group the “Highwaymen” and they got sued by the pretty-dorman folk music group that had previously used the name–and still had some albums in print.

      I remember that Joe Diffie song “Home.” It came out right around the same time as Mark Chesnutt’s debut “Too Cold At Home.” Two killer records by two great artists.

  2. J.R. Journey October 6, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    I did not know song titles couldn’t be copyrighted, but then I never thought about it. Makes sense I guess since there’s a long list of songs with the same title.

    I’m not sure I’d have been as generous with this single as you. I like the sound of it, but I think it uses the patriotic selling point too much, though I do agree the writers came up with interesting ways to do so. Just seems like another list song to me for the most part. Low B to high C IMO. Still, good review.

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

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