Dierks Bentley’s high altitude country album casts a wide net with “Burning Man,” the most gratifying song on The Mountain. His Brothers Osborne collaboration recalls the multi-faceted stylist’s early draw to rock and roots, Bakersfield and bluegrass.
Sonically, “Burning Man” is reminiscent of many of his Brett Beavers-produced hits from a decade ago, but with added darkness and urgency. The nomad story comes back to themes that defined Riser (scarred optimism as Bentley stands against life’s familiar obstacles), an album that defines him. Those who appreciate his grit and loyalty will embrace this song as well.
Those who just want to feel the beat without thinking about all that will also find something to appreciate. “Burning Man” is the most accessible song on The Mountain, a thinking man’s album that requires a concentrated listen from start to finish. TJ and John Osborne’s additions add texture but few surprises to a rambler that was — more than any other song on the project — made for radio.
Half your life, you struggle / Half your life, you fly / Half your life, making trouble / Half your life, making it right / One day, I’m the exception / Most days, I’m just like most / Some days I’m headed in the right direction / And some days, I ain’t even close.
I’m a little bit steady, but / Still a little bit rolling stone / I’m a little bit heaven, but / Still a little bit flesh and bone / I’m a little found / Little don’t know where I am / I’m a little bit holy water / But still a little bit burning man / Burning man.
Yeah, I’ll always love the highway / I just don’t run it as fast / I still go wherever the wind blows me / But I always find my way back / I still don’t get it right sometimes / I just don’t get it as wrong / I still go a little bit crazy sometimes, yeah / But now I don’t stay near as long.
Still just a burn, burn, burning man / Just a burning man.
Maybe I’ll go to the desert / Find myself in the Joshua Trees / If we pass in the night then just hand me a light and / Tell me you burn just like me.