Kenny Chesney will released his much anticipated album The Big Revival on September 23. After more than a year between releasing new music, Chesney took his time to ensure that he got this right. And did he ever. All eleven songs are good, something ever so rare in today’s country music. From the new single “Til It’s Gone” to “Wild Child” which features a guest appearance from Grace Potter The Big Revival is everything country music needs.
Chances are you already know the lead single, “American Kids”. One of the biggest songs of the summer and the number one country song in America this past week, it was the perfect track to create buzz about Chesney upcoming album. However, he didn’t stop there. Chesney went on to release an additional couple of songs from the new album. Both “Flora-Bama” and “The Big Revival” were early 2000’s Chesney at his best. Moving away from his beloved island sound, Chesney has brought things back to what he does best: killer riffs and catchy choruses. Combined you have some of the best live songs in country music history. Kenny knew that his live show’s setlist was getting a bit repetitive so he created an album that could easily be played live start to finish. That’s something that few artists are doing nowadays. Even the best album have “filler” tracks, The Big Revival does not. That’s something to be proud of.
You’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite track off the album. If slower songs are your thing you’re likely to find “Wild Child” the best track on there. He’s brought back one of his favorite singers in music, Grace Potter, to accompany him as he sings about a girl who he calls a “wild child.” It only takes one listen to fall in love with the song. Chesney and Potter’s voices blend so seamlessly that you’d think they were meant to be a duo. Think “You and Tequila” with a more uplifting message, one that you can play at any point in your life, and you’ll instantly crack a smile.
However, the songs for the depressed haven’t been removed from the album all together. The appropriately titled “Rock Bottom” is Chesney’s song for the people. Before the creating the album he was quoted as saying, “[He] wanted to make music for the common folk, music that people can relate to,” this song is clearly the song to which he was referring. “I hit rock bottom, and started rock bottom,” sings Chesney at the close of the chorus. Although every song on the album is conducive for radio airplay, few are likely to catch on as quickly as “Rock Bottom” would. There’s a gap in country music when it comes to upbeat songs about the tough times. While there are plenty of ballads about the rough times, no one has been able to capture the uplifting spirit needed to get out of a rut, quite like Chesney does here.
If you’re looking to party with The Big Revival on in the background you’ll have a wide array of tracks to choose from. “American Kids”, “Drink It Up”, “Flora-Bama”, “Til It’s Gone” and, “The Big Revival” all fit the bill. Both “Drink It Up” and “Til It’s Gone” are prime examples of Chesney’s awareness. The live show needed a boost and both these tracks fill that need perfectly. It only takes one play to envision these songs live. The same can be said for title track, “The Big Revival” a song that will likely open the tour next year. Anyone who’s seen Chesney live knows he loves to bring it from the first chord to the last, and “The Big Revival” is the perfect track to kick off his high energy live shows. As a recording of Chesney saying, “Get ready for the big revival” plays in the background and Chesney walks out on stage with the band playing, crowd on it’s feet gets me excited just thinking about it.
Overall, The Big Revival is the best album released so far this year. It’s exactly what country music needed. Chesney has returned to his roots at the perfect time. In a year that featured the other male stars getting progressively more pop, Chesney has reverted back to his patented early 2000’s tune. We can only hope that the other artists follow suit. But if not, we’ll have this album to fall back on as everything that’s right with country music.