Don't let "Drunk On A Plane" fool you. Dierks Bentley's latest album, Riser, is a very deep and introspective record. Throughout the entirety of his career, Dierks has done an excellent job of mixing thought-provoking songs with the laid back songs. He is still at it with his latest. "Say You Do" is a sad, heartfelt song with no happy ending and no party. I've said it before, but it needs to be repeated: when it comes to mainstream country, few do it better than Dierks Bentley.
"Say You Do" is a story you've heard before, and most likely have experienced in some way or another. A relationship has ended, but the protagonist of our song still harbors feelings for the departed. Desperation overcomes him, and he shreds all dignity to beg for one more night, even if deep down he knows it is all a fantasy and has no real value. That's a gut-punch. Dierks does melancholy very well, so it is no surprise that the emotion and longing of the lyrics are perfectly portrayed in Dierks' raspy vocals. I really like the line "I'm begging you to lead me on..." Leading someone on is considered a pretty low blow in our society, but he is so desperate that he will take whatever he can get. You can see how low he has sunk, and it makes you feel for the character. Or, worse yet, it makes you relate to the character.
Musically, this is pretty pedestrian pop-country. It is melody-driven and laid-back enough to keep traditional minded curmudgeons like me satisfied, but polished and bouncy enough to make some noise on mainstream radio. That's the way you have to play it in 2015. There are way bigger things to worry about than the glossiness of this song. The melody is a big selling-point to this song. It is easy to sing-along to and will get stuck in your head after one listen. Dierks is good at making memorable songs, and I feel this one could be one of his more successful ones based on the strength of the song and the current hot streak he is riding.
Make no mistake about it, Dierks Bentley is on a bonafide roll right now. He has been headlining shows, hitting number one, and earning critical praise as well (something his classmates Luke Bryan an Florida-Georgia Line cannot claim). There are still many more potential hits on Riser, so Dierks could be scaling even higher heights by the end of the year. "Say You Do" was a great choice for a single, and should be a pretty big smash for Dierks. Be sure to check this one out.