Songwriters: Dierks Bentley, Brett Beavers, Jim Beavers
For all the great heights Dierks Bentley has achieved with his best material, it’s almost amazing how tasteless his up-tempo hits can be when attempting to tap into the party crowd demographic. At the very best, “5-1-5-0” is not as grating as over-the-top predecessors such as “Sideways” or “Am I the Only One.” The production is surprisingly clutter-free this time around, while including the generous touches of bluegrass-flavored instrumentation that Bentley’s records have often utilized.
Even then, the problem remains that “5-1-5-0” doesn’t quite rise above the contrived paint-by-number feel that has plagued many of Bentley’s previous efforts in this vein. A noteworthy problem is that the song builds its hook around a concept that, in all likelihood, relatively few listeners will understand. For those who don’t know, “5-1-5-0” is the California Police Code for an insane person, which the song ineffectively attempts to stretch into a metaphor picturing a man driven crazy with infatuation over a woman he has met, while cheesy references to calling “the po-po” sound just plain hokey.
Though it shows some relative good taste in certain areas (and mercificully does not end in a canned barroom singalong chorus a la “Sideways”), “5-1-5-0” lacks the intangible spark needed to truly capture the good-time, escapist vibe that it aims for. Thus, it ultimately comes across as little more than mediocre radio filler.