Dierks BentleySeven albums and a vast anthology over these last eleven years: this is the result of an intense and fulsome career of one of Nashville’s most popular voices of the country scene linked to the majors. In fact, Dierks Bentley has always posed more as a non traditionalistic artist, with this passion for rock and bluegrass music, as a pleasant alternative to other mainstream artists. He has a number of pop songs in his repertoire, understood as ‘adult contemporary’, which the musician from Phoenix, Arizona has used with skill and taste, giving birth to a distinguished and brilliant sound. “Riser” follows the lines of the previous “Home”, released in 2012, giving preference to midtempo and ballads, always intense, heartfelt and lived. A perfect example of this, is the first single which also opens the disc, “Bourbon in Kentucky”, a bitter and tense song that outlines the dualism on which the album concentrates, between sorrow and joy, sadness and happiness, the result of a period in the life of Dierks Bentley, which first saw his father’s death in June 2012 and then the birth of his first child in October 2013.2014-03-15 at 20-10-44Along with “Bourbon In Kentucky”, I need to mention many other songs, among which, the title track “Riser”, wholeheartedly positive and full of hope, and “Say You Do” where a soft arpeggio of the acoustic guitar turns into a remarkable ballad. “Sounds Of Summer” and “Damn These Dreams”, placed side by side, represent the two ‘extremes’, within which are the other tracks from “Riser”, the first which reminisces about some of the Kenny Chesney ‘pre-caribbean’ material, between pop and country, and the second much more acoustic and roots, even the incipit says: “I remember hearin’ Hank on the radio …”. The record, however, is well structured, maybe it can be affected by the lack of a true hit, but steadily grows the more you listen to it. You probably will not remember it as one of Dierks’ best, but is able to give to those who appreciate his artistic talents, many pleasurable moments. (Remo Ricaldone)