Dierks Bentley‘s Black album promises to be “mysterious and sexy,” but not completely melancholy. “A lot of it happens after dark, in the black of night,” Bentley says. There are equal parts sexy, quick-witted and desperate to be found beneath the cover photo.
“Candid” is the word used in a press release to describe the singer’s eighth studio album. “It’s a relationship album,” the singer says, “and to do it right, I had to dig deep as a writer, dig into the Nashville songwriting community, and record songs that explore the shadows and edges of the heart.”
From the songs to the producer to the songwriters and inspirations behind the album, here is everything you need to know about Black, in stores and online May 27.
“Somewhere on a Beach” is the lead single from Black, and while Bentley’s two previous singles have been slower, more introspective songs, this track is more reflective of “Drunk on a Plane.” One could argue it’s the sequel to his 2014 hit.
Ross Copperman returns to produce his second Dierks Bentley album. Copperman was at the helm of Riser, the singer’s most successful album to date. This came after six albums produced by Brett Beavers.
Bentley says the songs on Black will continue to be deeply personal and perhaps even darker than those on Riser. That the album’s title is also his wife’s maiden name suggests a great love song, perhaps one penned from singer to wife.
“The songs on Black range from the lonesomeness of an impossible relationship to ones that describe the feeling of finding that person that makes you forget the one that broke your heart,” the 40-year-old says.
1. “Black” (Ashley Gorley, Ross Copperman, Dierks Bentley) — The sexy love song everyone expected from this title track. It’s a beat-heavy track that’s a fine representative of what’s to come.
2. “Pick Up” (Jaren Johnston, Jimmy Robbins, Andrew Dorff) — Sonically this song feels like “Somewhere on the Beach,” but lyrically it’s about getting back together with an ex.
3. “I’ll Be the Moon” (feat. Maren Morris) (Heather Morgan, Matt Dragstrem, Ryan Hurd) — One of the darkest cheating songs you’ll ever hear, made better by a riveting music video.
4. “What the Hell Did I Say” (Copperman, Josh Kear, Chris Tompkins) — An uptempo jam with a variety of influences.
5. “Somewhere on a Beach” (Michael Tyler, Jaron Boyer, Alexander Palmer, Dave Kuncio, Josh Mirenda)
6. “Freedom” (Gorley, Copperman, Bentley) — Another drum-heavy jam that celebrates freedom in all it’s various forms. It could be this album’s “Home,” but it’s more arresting.
7. “Why Do I Feel” (Dan Wilson, Copperman, Bentley) — Slow and dark, this ballad finds Bentley asking why he always messes with something good.
8. “Roses and a Time Machine” (Luke Dick, Adam James) — A country-rocker that will sound great live in 2016. Bentley sings about wishing he could go back in time and ask forgiveness. There’s even a clever Back to the Future reference.
9. “All the Way to Me” (Dick, Scooter Carusoe, Bentley) — A great beat with familiar rhymes.
10. “Different for Girls” (feat. Elle King) (Shane McAnally, J.T. Harding) — The undeniable standout track on Black. Bentley and King’s voices mix like bourbon and sweet tea. It’s a sensitive lyric that will hit fans in the heart.
11. “Mardi Gras” (feat. Trombone Shorty) (Natalie Hemby, Steven Moakler, Bentley) — Natalie Hemby’s backing vocals standout on a song that compares a girl to the wild time at Mardi Gras. It’s an original lyric on an arrangement that will sound great live.
12. “Light It Up” (Jessi Alexander, Copperman, Bentley) — A big anthemic love song.
13. “Can’t Be Replaced” (Hillary Lindsey, Luke Laird, Bentley) — The song that will make you cry. This slow, introspective album closer mentions his dog Jake during the final verse.
Dierks Bentley’s Black will be released on May 27.
Photo Source: YouTube Screen Capture