Single Review: Dierks Bentley, “I Hold On”

Dierks Bentley I Hold OnDierks Bentley has done a lot of growing up since his young man’s anthem, “What Was I Thinkin'”, launched him to stardom.

“I Hold On” has the energetic groove that Bentley always does so well, but there’s a refreshing lyrical depth that makes this song stand out among its lesser peers on the radio today.  His sentimental attachment to his old pickup truck because he worked on it with his departed father is reminiscent of Alan Jackson’s now-classic “Drive (For Daddy Gene)”, and there’s a nice mix of nostalgia and pride in him hanging on to the beat up guitar that he strapped on during all those rowdy club dates early in his career.

The song is so personal that even the patriotic clinging to the flag seems more genuine than cloying, though it does slow the song down a bit, at least until he pivots to promising to hold on to the love he’s found with his one true flame.

It’s not perfect, but it’s better than most.  I’m always on board with country music for grownups.

Written by Dierks Bentley and Brett James

Grade: B+




  1. …even though this new song sounds like a club sandwich made out of the all to well known ingredients from his catalog – it works nicely.

    fair enough, he’s holding on to mostly those big things that everybody could agree on, which makes it eventually only a good, but not an outstanding effort. does it always have to be “ol glory” that one must hold on in country music or a rebel flag? a truck – again? why not that hockey-shirt in the clip of a team that one grew up with or that cheesy packers hat or that broncos super bowl t-shirt of the denver desaster XLVIII?

    a little less pathos and a lot more real life – and better super bowl commercials and half-time entertainment next year, please.

  2. Agreed.

    “I Hold On” is one of the strongest active and climbing singles on the current country chart for mostly the reasons you’ve already stated.

    And Bentley has always handled the theme of a lonesome yet wide-eyed traveler so well, so it’s refreshing to see him return to it after making a detour to frat-boy country with “Home” and respective songs like “5-1-5-0”, “Tip It On Back” and “Am I The Only One?”

    It’s a shame “Bourbon In Kentucky” puttered out almost immediately after its onset, but “I Hold On” is quite decent considering all else radio presently has to offer. This earns a solid B to weak B+ from me.

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