Dierks Bentley’s Riser, was released back in February, and at that time was being called his “most real and personal album yet.” After experiencing significant life events within two years time, including the passing of his father and the birth of his son, Dierks recorded an album full of reflective, emotional and (mostly) mature songs.
Riser is not full of party songs like “5-1-5-0” and “How Am I Doin'." Bentley states in the liner notes that he “started writing and recording in a place of real grief and ended in a place of true gratitude.” Riser is ballad heavy, with even the lyrically “lighter” songs showcasing a mellow, scaled back sound. Highlights include "Here on Earth," which is about his father, as well as the Sandy Hook shootings, and "Damn These Dreams" which juxtaposes the thrill of living out his musical dreams with the pain of leaving his family behind.
Of course there are some "lighter" moments like “Sounds of Summer” and “Drunk On A Plane," which add some much needed fun and humor to the record. A slightly reworked “Back Porch,” which was a song originally on the Country and Cold Cans EP, is also on the album. The only true uptempo song on the record, it brings a much needed twang and funk.
Riser is an unhurried record that will be undoubtedly be appreciated by anyone who likes lyric driven country music. If you haven't yet, give it a listen.