Dierks Bentley, “Sideways”

dierks-bentleyI’m about to write a sentence that I never thought I would:

I wish this song had been recorded by Montgomery Gentry instead.

Dierks Bentley is a solid songwriter and vocalist, but this is so far out of his normal groove that he doesn’t sound comfortable. Maybe it will work better live, but as a studio recording, it’s dull and lifeless.

“Sideways” reminds me of Rodney Crowell’s efforts later in his career to do mindless ditties. They just didn’t work, perhaps because once your thoughts run deep, it’s no longer fun to wade in the shallow waters of your mind.

Written by Jim Beavers and Dierks Bentley

Grade: C

Listen: Sideways



  1. Dierks’ Long Trip Alone album was his turning point for me, the turning point which caused him to become one of my favourite country artists.

    I felt like I should have liked the title cut from his new album, Feel That Fire, but I wasn’t crazy over it. But I could accept that it was just an off single for him. But now I’m losing faith in him. This album may be as much of a turning point for me as Long Trip Alone was, but this time, I don’t mean it as a good thing. Hopefully, I’ll come to change my mind.

  2. When I heard this one, I thought Keith Urban would have livened it up some.

    But now I’m about to write a sentence that I never thought I would write. I just heard a similarly themed Jason Michael Carroll song called “Barn Burner” and it’s everything this comparatively wussy Dierks Bentley song should have been.

  3. Hmm…it’s like a mix of Feel That Fire and What Was I Thinkin’. I think like other commenters and you, yourself, expressed, Montgomery Gentry or Keith Urban could have brought more spice into it.

    My problem is, it’s a fun song, people at his concerts will jump up and down and sing along. Some of them will make it their myspace profile song until a week after the concert. Others will mark it down as their favorite song for a month until something better comes along. Its problem is that the song is just a bit too generic.

    I love Dierks, and I haven’t listened too much to his new album, but at least “Feel That Fire” was a bit of a different song, not just generic to fit into all the other songs on the radio.

  4. I’m glad to hear somebody else did not like Feel That Fire!! I’m so sick of that song and why does he always sound as if he’s constipated when he’s trying to sing! Sorry, but that’s what he sounds like! Sideways is not growing on me either and it does sound a lot like his other songs and he still sounds like he’s straining on every verse! But his fans will probably love it and the radio will play the heck out of it just like FTF!

  5. Sorry I don’t agree with the review. Yes it’s not going to be a long standing hit but it’s a fun song. Not every song has to have some deep meaningful msg or evoke some long standing memory. This is a fun song and it’s quickly become my Friday night song. It’s a fun get the wknd song and there’s nothing wrong with that. Lighten up people.

  6. I actually have to say I’ve changed my mind about this song. It has grown on me a lot in the past weeks. It IS a nice fun song. Hopefully I will enjoy his next single this much.

  7. I am a die-hard Dierks fan. Having said that, it took a while, but Feel That Fire has finally grown on me. Now I love it. Sideways is a fun song–not every song has to be deep like Long Trip Alone–which not nearly enough people “got.” For all those who had nothing but negative comments about Sideways, take a look at the charts–it’s at #5 this week and in only 13 weeks! No other Dierks song has moved that fast. So lots of people like the song! It’s sure to be his next #1.

  8. Well this is a song that makes me rethink my dislike for ‘modern’ country music. It is fun, energetic, and it just puts a smile on my face. Keeping in mind I still love Shot Gun Willy and other ‘older’ country music songs that I listened to with my father. This is a good song to remind those of the Rock community to give Country a listen it is just as much fun and sometimes more so.

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