Kenny Chesney - "Live A Little"
By: Bobby Peacock
As I said when I reviewed "Somewhere with You," I've found that I've become much more of a Kenny Chesney fan in the last couple years. Sure, maybe he's not the best singer in the genre, but he's found a very pleasant and often mellow sound that contrasts with all the arena-rock and party anthems. Even when he picks up the tempo, he still manages to get a little more personal and introspective. Maybe it's an artistic midlife crisis, or maybe it's a deliberate artistic move, but whatever it is, he has rarely sounded better.
Although there's a little more tempo and a little more guitar, "Live a Little" is still delightfully unhurried — perhaps because it was co-written by David Lee Murphy, a low-key charmer himself. (The other writer is the severely underrated Shane Minor, for those of you keeping score at home.) It starts out with a compressed sketch of work-induced stress, followed by a simple "I gotta get my priorities straight" that sounds just about as honest and real as can be. From that, we get an equally simple chorus about living a little, having fun and a second verse about fun on a Friday night. Maybe a couple of the details are things you've heard in a Kenny Chesney song before (yes, even a single line about the beach), but they don't feel like a mere rehash.
I'm quite pleasantly surprised that Kenny Chesney's output is still so consistent. Not that I had a problem with most of his anthemic songs (except "Summertime" — that was pretty weak), but he's managed to go from good to even better and maintain commercial success. Although he's writing less than ever, he's also found a way to make his personality known in song better than ever before. After the superb "Somewhere with You," I wanted a followup that was even half as good, and Kenny didn't disappoint in the least.