Kenny Chesney - The Big Revival

Blue Chair Records/Sony Music

THE BIG REVIVAL marks a new chapter in the musical development of one of America’s most fervent musical minds. Kenny Chesney has developed and matured from a mid-1990s honky-tonk styled singer through to a stadium country-rock superstar, along the way delving into more reflective and introspective song material. This latest collection steers away from the country-rock and the intimate styling of his previous releases in favour of a more straight rock approach centred on thick electric guitars and dense Wurlitzer, B-3 organ, synthesiser and piano. His singing of the thrilling, inspiring, pile-driving title song will lift your heart, pierce your soul and dazzle your spirit. This Dennis Linde song is all about living your life on the edge with unbridled passion. Some may recall earlier versions by John Anderson (2001) and Montgomery Gentry (2008), but Chesney’s version owes nothing to those as he takes the song by the scruff of the neck and totally owns it.

The whole vibe of this album is to live life to the full, something we should all strive to do, but are rarely able to. Even in ‘down’ songs like Rock Bottom, the message is that despite what life has thrown at you, bouncing back from the depths of despair is what you have to do.  He continues the lyrical theme with the slower-paced Don’t It, in which learning from mistakes and wrong turns all helps to make you a stronger person. Optimism is a thread that runs through these songs, as with Save It For A Rainy Day. If you get hurt by a loved one, don’t let it spoil a great time, just ‘save it for a rainy day.’ Drink It Up is the obligatory drinking song; but this time it’s a metaphor for living life to the full and drinking in the good times. The hit single American Kids is a catchy rap-styled anthem to how great it is to be living and growing up in this day and age. Superficial fluff with a sing-along chorus that is tailor-made for those stadium shows—it works. Even better is Wild Child, a delicate duet with Grace Potter. For those who need something sticky to grab hold of this has an immediate chorus and a sly swap of electric guitar and keyboard lines enhanced by their soulful harmonies.

Throughout this album Kenny Chesney puts his own distinct mark on his music and perfectly captures your mood at any given moment, it is meaningful and heartfelt—reaching deep into your soul. He sings and plays with such charisma and energy, that you can’t help but enjoy him. This one is well worth checking out.
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