ToC Critic’s Pick: Dierks Bentley (Feat. Elle King), ‘Different for Girls’ [Listen]
Dierks Bentley’s duet with Elle King isn’t just a great song, it’s an important moment for country music. "Different for Girls" displays a father’s sensitivities in a way that's unique to 2016.
Point here to find evidence of Bentley’s growth since he released his career-changing Up on the Ridge and Home albums. At 40, he better understands the nuances of telling dark, truthful stories in the third person. "Different for Girls" doesn’t pity, sympathize or violently lash out against obstacles women in our culture are faced with daily. It offers understanding and true, on-the-equal compassion.
You’ll find no “wink, wink” in this song, King's first on country radio. Twenty, 10 or even five years ago, the country gentleman felt inclined to protect his masculinity with the tiniest disparaging detail — a note or a word that fit neatly in the day’s social context. Or he (and in many cases, she) recorded songs so packed with drama that fans could tuck them away as pure fiction. Here, Bentley leads. His words, but mostly his tone — and the song’s complementary production — are new. He wraps his arms around the subtleties of Shane McAnally and J.T. Harding's lyric.
That’s three paragraphs without mention of King as a vocalist on country radio, which may be the most remarkable part of this second single from Black (May 27). She sweetens his bourbon baritone, but brings her own convincing edge to the second verse. "Different for Girls" has Song of the Year potential and could end up being a career-changer for the country singer. Most importantly it’s a song we need, right now.
Did You Know?: Bentley has two daughters, Evie and Jordan. He also has a son named Knox.
Listen to Dierks Bentley (Feat. Elle King), "Different for Girls"
Dierks Bentley Explains Why He Wanted Elle King
Dierks Bentley's "Different for Girls" Lyrics:
“She don’t throw any t-shirt on, and walk to a bar / She don’t text her friends and say ‘I gotta get some tonight’ / She don’t say it’s OK, I never loved him anyway / She don’t scroll through her phone just looking for a band aid.”
“It’s different for girls, when their hearts get broke / They can’t tape it back together, with a whiskey and Coke / They don’t take someone home and act like it’s nothing / They can’t switch it off every time they feel something / A guy gets drunk with his friends and he might hook up / Fast forward through the pain, push ‘em back when the tears come up / But it’s different for girls.”
(Elle King) “She don’t sleep all day, and leave the house a wreck / She don’t have the luxury to let herself go / She won’t call, just to cuss / Find a wall, she can punch / When the going gets tough, yeah the guys they can just act tough.”
“It’s different for girls, nobody said it was fair / When love disappears they can’t pretend it was never there.”