Kenny Chesney released his new album “Cosmic Hallelujah” on Oct. 28 , two years after his last release. Chesney has gone through many thematic stages during his more than 25-year career. From the fun and laidback “When the Sun Goes Down” and “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems” to the slow and serious “Boys of Fall” and “You and Tequila,” Chesney has kept fans on their toes each time he throws out a new single or album. This time, however, an older and more mature Chesney has found a way to blend the upbeat vibes of his earlier days with the meaningful messages of his more recent albums.
The album kicks off with the song “Trip Around the Sun.” Dressed with the upbeat guitar playing in songs like “American Kids,” Chesney sings about the value of life, no matter how crazy it might be. The song is an invitation to “take another crazy trip around the sun.” Chesney continues the faster-paced tempo throughout the beginning of the album, including the duet “Setting the World on Fire” with P!nk, a tale about a lost love.
If there was ever a criticism about Chesney, it could be that he doesn’t appeal to the younger generations. His songs are often nostalgic, and rightfully so, toward the time era he grew up. But because Chesney was born in 1968, his experience was markedly different from the childhood of the average college student. Yet, his single “Noise” is surprisingly relatable. Singing about the information overload our society seems to be stuck in, Chesney notes that “we scream and we shout until we don’t have a voice” — a message and feeling that spans generations.
For those who were looking to avoid the slow sentimentality that has become a staple to the Chesney checklist, the album does have its pitfalls. Then again, what respectable country album doesn’t slow it down for a couple songs for some reminiscing and rumination? The songs “Jesus and Elvis” and “Coach” definitely bring on nostalgic tears and triumphs, but they certainly don’t devalue the album. Those who jumped on the Chesney tractor during his slow song success might find these songs a perfect end to the album.
With his varying musical style throughout the years, Chesney has proved to country fans that he can wear different cowboy hats. But with songs like “Trip Around the Sun,” “Setting the World on Fire” and “Noise,” Chesney is able to take the multiple sounds of his musical history and morph them into one solid “Cosmic Hallelujah.”
Caption: G. Ducanis
Credit: Kenny Chesney’s “Cosmic Hallelujah” blends the upbeat vibes of his earlier days with the deeper messages of his recent albums.