“I Hold On”
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
One of the most enduring themes in country music is staying true to your roots — to recognize who you are and where you’re from. Which isn’t to say that country need be steeped in humility, but the farther it gets from grounded, down-to-earth sensibility, the farther a song gets from truly being country. In latest single “I Hold On,” Dierks Bentley holds tight to his identity and biography, using his method of transportation as a metaphor for the experiences he’s logged in his lifetime: “It’s just an old beat up truck/some say that I should trade up/ now that I got some jangle in my pocket/ but what they don’t understand/ is it’s the miles that make the man/ I wouldn’t trade it in for a rocket.” For Bentley, however, staying true to himself also generally means rocking a little harder than most of contemporary country’s crooners, and while this doesn’t have quite the same grit as recent single “Bourbon in Kentucky,” it shares a similar, U2-style grandeur. Bentley may be keeping his feet on the ground, but he’s aiming for the stars.