Kenny Chesney is his own genre.
He is undeniably one of country’s biggest superstars, yet his versatility is unmatched. He can do beach bum songs that appeal to Jimmy Buffet’s “Parrotheads,” good time country songs that appeal to modern country fans, but what he does best is speak about the human condition while helping us learn to appreciate what we have.
Kenny Chesney’s brilliant new album Cosmic Hallelujah is a celebration of life. With all of the socio-political issues weighing down our nation, Kenny Chesney has put forth an 11-song set that sends a much-needed positive message to his masses. Live for today, love your life, and embrace it to its fullest. Even when he tackles the seriously messed up current state of affairs of our media-obsessed culture in the album’s first single “Noise” there is a certain ray of hope and ebullience to assure the listener that everything will be OK.
Cosmic Hallelujah has no filler. There isn’t a song on it to skip over. The music is fresh and his voice is impeccable. His duet and recent single with pop star Pink might be one of the finest songs on country radio these days. The two sound amazing together and the evocative love story narrated by Kenny Chesney in the verses, while Pink punctuates the point in her stunning chorus, is worth the price of the album.
For the most part Cosmic Hallelujah is everything Kenny Chesney fans want to hear. “Trip Around The Sun,” “All The Pretty Girls,” “Bar At The End Of The World” fit in perfectly with his massive catalog of songs about embracing our individual lots in life.
Other Highlights Include…
“Winnebago” is a wonderful track about saying “the work week is done, let’s get in our camper, find a spot and have a good time.” And who cares if it rains, we can go inside and make our own fun.
“Bucket” is a down and dirty, slinky (and amusing) track about living your life in a way that makes you blissful. “Put an F on the B of a bucket list” just might be the best line in a song since Jo Dee Messina’s lyric “one finger shy of a peace sign” (on her song “Peace Sign).
The comforting “Jesus & Elvis” written by Americana stalwarts Matraca Berg, Allison Moorer and Hayes Carll is a song that brings you back to a local dive bar where the regulars are decorating for Christmas. The somber moments in the song (the mother of a fallen soldier decorates the bar her in her son’s honor for example) would bring sad tears to many listener’s eyes, if not for the underlying togetherness of the patrons and the narrator’s expressive depiction of the scene which elicits happy tears instead.
“Rich and Miserable” is a very modern sounding (pop-ish) song with a very country theme of how things have changed, and not necessarily for the better. Let’s get back to basics. It’s not about having more. Like the end of the chorus sad-but-true lyric proclaims, “We won’t be happy until we get rich and miserable.”
Cosmic Hallelujah’s closer “Coach” certainly hit home for me. As someone who coaches a high school tennis team (and played my share of sports growing up) the sentiments expressed in this song definitely choked me up. Even if you didn’t play sports but had that one special teacher or mentor growing up you can relate to its appreciative message.
At this point in his illustrious career, Kenny Chesney doesn’t need to reinvent himself. But he seems to do so ever-so-slightly on every album, and Cosmic Hallelujah is no different. For the good of his fans he has the ability to do so without alienating them. He maintains a familiarity that keeps us in our comfort zone, all the while producing exciting modern and timeless country music.