(The Verge) – Kenny Chesney’s 15th album Life On A Rock went on sale this past Tuesday. However, it is not for those who are fans of his older albums because it does not really sound like his older stuff. Chesney has definitely put some heart into this album, because the songs on this album have a clear and distinct theme.
It starts out with his latest single, “Pirate Flag.” While this song is catchy and will definitely be the country anthem for this summer, this is not like anything Chesney has ever done before. This song has a mix of a southern rock and hip hop sound. I can’t really identify what type of sound he was trying to go for in this song. One thing I do like about it, however, is the lyrics. “I traded it in for a whole ‘nother world, a Pirate Flag, and an Island Girl,” is starting to become one of my favorite lines…
Chesney keeps the beach vibe going with “When I See This Bar.” This song is a bit more mellow, and has odd placement in the album. I would have expected this 6 minute song to be track four or five on the album. I find that it drags on for a little too long. If this were a four minute song, I would have more positive things to say about it. It’s redundant to “Young” and keeps repeating the same two chords over and over again. This is my least favorite track on this album because it does not have anything that makes it unique.
“Spread The Love” is an interesting track featuring The Wailers & Elan. I honestly thought that Spotfiy decided to go into my queue list and play Bob Marley. I thought this was an interesting route for Chesney to go, because it completely contrasts tracks one and two. I can’t say that it works well with the rest of the album, but I think it works well for Chesney personally. However, if Ziggy Marley were to substitute Chesney in this song, it would make it ten times better.
“Lindy” is one of the first true country songs on this album. The beat is similar to “Come Over” and is simple, yet pleasing. The guitar in this song has a great sounding strum, and is accompanied by an accordion after each verse. Chesney is able to create a country sound, while also keeping his “beachy” theme going. This sounds like it should have been on Welcome To The Fishbowl, but was unable to meet the time constraint.
Chesney then returns to the tropical sound with “Coconut Tree,” featuring Willie Nelson. This song is sure to be on my playlist for when I’m at the beach this summer. It’s a mellow piece, and would be cool if Chesney did this as an acoustic song with bongos, live. The end of it features a duet between Chesney and Nelson that is as sweet as a Piña Colada…
“It’s That Time of Day” is a song that blends sound of artists such as John Mayer with traditional Bluegrass, with a bongo added in of course. This is a good song for if you’re hanging out with friends late at night, and are about to leave. He repeats the line “adios tuyos,” which is Spanish for goodbye to you. Like many other songs on this album, it is a great listen on a scorching hot afternoon.
Chesney continues with “Life On A Rock,” which is the title of the album. The song is sure to be a hit, and is one of my favorites on this album. It has a very similar sound to “Guitars and Tiki Bars.” The one difference is that there are no steel drums in this song, making sound a bit more like a modern country song. I’m a big fan of this song because it’s simple, yet catchy.
On this album, Kenny Chesney clearly sings about how Bob Marley is one of his biggest influences in his song “Marley.” This song is an acoustic tribute to when he listened to Marley while he was younger. This song has a bit of a Bruce Springsteen sound with the harmonica. This song clearly tells a story about when Chesney was younger, and also has a unique combination of guitar, drums, steel drums and even harmonica.
“Must Be Something I Missed” is the most traditional country song on this album. It resembles Darius Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel” in it’s beat, but it has catchy lyrics and the guitar has a simple chord progression.
To wrap up the album, Chesney uses the song “Happy On The Hey Now.” It is a powerful song with a message of hope. With a subdued beat, Chesney delievers a message to those who are going through health troubles, to stay strong and never give up. In an interview with The Chicago Tribune, Chesney says that Kristi is a close friend that passed away. “She had enough of an island free spirit for everyone,” said Chesney.
For those who want to see this album live, Kenny Chesney’s “No Shoes Nation Tour” will be stopping in Philadelphia on June 8 at Lincoln Financial Field, and into Northern New Jersey on August 10 at MetLife Stadium.
Hardcore fans of Chesney will be able to tell that this album was composed of songs that have been written currently, and even as long as seven years ago. As a fan of all of Chesney’s music, it is obvious that this is a compilation of pieces that never have been released before. I do have to say that this album could have been arranged better. It seems to go all over the place. Otherwise, it’s a unique album and is different from anything Kenny has released before. This album is released just in time for summer. I recommend it because of the variety of tracks and the guests that are brought on to give it a little flavor.