Kenny Chesney: 'Lucky Old Sun' – Album Review
One of my favorite albums of all time is Kenny Chesney’s Be As You Are: Songs From An Old Blue Chair. Some of my favorite song lyrics are from that album and it is the album I reach for when I need to mellow out after a stressful day. Maybe I like it because I share the same love and respect of the water as Kenny or maybe it’s because I too like the Rasta reggae rhythms like the girl from Boston... I don’t know. I just know that when I’m stressed, Kenny’s songs from that old blue chair put me at ease every time. Now though, I may be reaching for his latest release, Lucky Old Sun, instead.
With Lucky Old Sun, Kenny makes a departure from his fun loving, summertime party anthems in favor of a deeper, more meaningful album. The lead single, “Everybody Wants To Go Heaven” is one of only a handful of upbeat songs. The number one single is about what we all think about from time to time – wanting to go to heaven but not wanting to go right now. The addition of The Wailers gives it the island feel and sets the tone for the rest of the album.
“I’m Alive” leads off the album, featuring Dave Matthews as a guest vocalist. This is a song that leaves the listener saying ‘wow’. It is a Kenny Chesney co-write and reminds listeners that there is so much more to Kenny than party anthems and sold out summer concerts. The song itself paints a picture of life’s obstacles and the blend of Kenny and David’s voices simply works.
Kenny made it no secret that songs on this album were inspired by his 2005 divorce from actress Renee Zellweger. One of those songs is the simple ballad “Way Down Here” where Kenny sings about escaping the sadness of his everyday life by fleeing to the islands where “No one can tell the salt water from my tears.” Another one of those is “Nowhere To Go, Nowhere To Be”, a song about being able to just ‘be’ for a while to sort through life.
A fun, upbeat track from the album is “Ten With A Two” – a throwback to “Got A Little Crazy” in that it too discusses drinking too much and waking up in unfamiliar territory. The chorus is extremely catchy: “Last night I came in at 2 with a 10 and at 10 I woke up with a 2.” This is the party anthem of the album – the one fans will sing along with during those summer shows.
Mac McaAnally, who was responsible for Kenny’s small town anthem “Back Where I Come From”, comes through again on Lucky Old Sun with “Down The Road”. The song is largely acoustic and is a duet between Mac and Kenny with Kenny singing about the girl down the road he wants to marry and Mac singing about the boy down the road who wants to marry his daughter. Look for this song on country radio.
Lucky Old Sun is not loaded with mainstream songs made for country radio. But, that is the beauty of Kenny Chesney’s latest effort. This album is an experiment with a new sound as much as it is an intimate look into the life of the Kenny Chesney that fans rarely get to see. This is an album to add to your collection. It has become a staple of mine.