My Kind of Country

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

Single Review: Dierks Bentley – ‘5-1-5-0’

Having been beaten to the punch by Bradley Gaskin with ‘Diamonds Make Babies’, in my opinion the second best song on Dierks Bentley’s latest album (after his #1 hit ‘Home’), Dierks has turned for his own new single to the unusually titled ‘5-1-5-0’, written by the artist with regular collaborators Brett and Jim Beavers. The record is rapidly making its way up the charts and well on its way to becoming the third straight #1 hit from Home.

Lyrically, it uses the California Police Code for an insane person to symbolise the intensity of the protagonist’s obsessive feelings for his new love. It isn’t as effective as past songs comparing the madness of love to clinical insanity, such as John Conlee’s unforgettable ‘I Don’t Remember Loving You’, Dolly’s ‘Daddy Come And Get Me’, or Porter Wagoner’s controversial ‘Rubber Room’. Partly that’s because the mood is more frivolous, and Dierks doesn’t really seem to take it seriously – this comes across as the excuse for a fun song. The lightweight atmosphere is underlined by the odd reference to the police as “po-po”.

On the plus side, the record sounds very good with engaging vocals and attractive instrumentation despite a rather limited melody. There is a breezy carefree feel to the bluegrass-influenced arrangement which suit Dierks’s voice and may make this work across the summer airwaves. It’s also a refreshing change from radio’s usual fare, musically. But lyrically, it falls well short of Dierks’ better material, and this is a disappointing choice of single for me, and a disconcerting sequel to the far superior ‘Home’.

Grade: C+

3 responses to “Single Review: Dierks Bentley – ‘5-1-5-0’

  1. Ben Foster May 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I don’t love it, but I do think it’s better than some of Dierks’ previous efforts in this vine. I’m also glad that this time he resisted the urge to tack on a cheesy barroom singalong. The significance of the numbers “5-1-5-0” went entirely over my head though.

  2. Hoggy from Oz May 9, 2012 at 5:02 am

    I’d probably give it a B, although I agree with everything said. Unlike a lot of Dierk’s other singles, not only does this song not beat me over the head production-wise, but, as said, it does sound really cool. It’s a well-worn theme, but I feel it has just about enough novelty to make it a cut above the usual on country radio.

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