Dierks Bentley fans got a taste of the singer's pride early on when he released 'My Last Name' as his second single. Since then, it's been nothing but Bakersfield-guitar driven country rockers and passionate ballads. His new single, 'Home,' is a rare peek at the man beneath the curly brown hair.

His reserved personality works against him at first. This mood of 'Home' is unlike anything he's ever released to radio, far more unexpected than the bluegrass album he put out in 2010.

"West, on a plane bound west / I see her stretching out below / Land, blessed mother land / the place where I was born / Scars, yeah she's got her scars / Sometimes it starts to worry me / 'Cause lose, I don't wanna lose / Sight of who we are," Bentley sings to begin the song.

After a couple of listens, the shock wears off and one can appreciate Bentley's effort. "It's been a long hard ride / Got a ways to go / But this is still the place / That we all call home," he closes the chorus with. It's a beautiful lyric, and while the melody is a little clumsy, the singer has never had trouble moving beyond that obstacle.

The remaining verses are as vivid as the first, with the expected verse about our military not sounding nearly as forced as it could have. Who knew Bentley was this chest-pounding patriot? The song doesn't quite paint him into the same room as Toby Keith; his is a more artistic approach.

The true value of 'Home' won't be known until one hears it two or three dozen times on a local radio station (the album isn't out yet). It feels like a potential theme for a Memorial Day tribute, if nothing else. One can imagine the climax syncing up nicely with the words "The Few, The Proud, The Marines" flashing in bold letters on the television screen. Bentley gets an extra half-star for exploring a world outside of the box he'd built over six albums.

3.5 stars

Preview Dierks Bentley's 'Home'

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