Old-fashioned American country. That is the image that comes to mind with American singer-songwriter Kenny Chesney’s latest effort, The Big Revival. As far as the country-singer stereotype goes, this guy’s got it all; the straw hat, the guitar and the accent in his singing voice. Luckily, he’s also got the tunes to boot.
The album opens up with its powerful title track, with Chesney declaring “Get ready for the Big Revival” amongst banging drums and epic country guitar solos. It’s an energetic song that will have you clapping along merrily to its beat. It’s the first track and already the listener is given great promise before the second track has even begun. Moreso, the single American Kids is a perfect example of Chesney is capable of. It’s a song of reflection on the ‘good ol’ days’ of being a kid, an energetic country-pop song that brings a smile to the face. It has all the hallmarks of great country songwriting and you get the sense that Chesney is enjoying it as he reminisces about “Growin’ up in little pink houses/Makin’ out on living room couches/Blowin’ that smoke on Saturday night/A little messed up, but we’re all alright”. In a world where angsty songwriting is a popular thing, this more positive and nostalgic tone is a great relief.
Even when faced with the pain that is heartbreak, we see Chesney attempt to cover it up and focus on the positives in life. ”the sun’s too bright, the sky’s too blue,” he sings in Save It For A Rainy Day, “beer’s too cold to be thinkin’ ‘bout you, gonna take this heartbreak and tuck it away, save it for a rainy day”. Listening to Chesney is like listening to an old friend after having not seen them in ages. There’s a sense of warmth in his songs that is hard to find anywhere else. Even the slower, more reflective songs like Don’t It have that honest quality that pulls at the heart strings and, at the same, is thought-provoking and effective.
It’s no wonder why Kenny Chesney is a regular chart-topper in America’s country music scene; his voice is iconic and his style perfect. His songs have that familiar, nostalgic country vibe while being relevant to a 21st century audience. And speaking of 21st century audiences, you should add yourself to that audience because Chesney’s latest is a truly satisfying listen and will no doubt be regarded as a modern country classic.