A dash of soul and authenticity

By Nick Erickson, Staff writer

In having planned to put out his 17th studio album in July under the title “Some Town Somewhere,” country powerhouse Kenny Chesney revised the album completely and brought a new one to the table. His recently released album, now called “Cosmic Hallelujah,” takes creative measures to breathe life into his music, while keeping it contemporary and stadium-friendly enough for the masses.

No stranger to the country music demographic, Chesney has been topping the charts for more than a decade. Although keeping in a similar vein of lyricism that encompasses most country music of today, Chesney still offers innovation on “Cosmic Hallelujah.” Taking aspects of modern production that fans love to hear, all while giving a sense of authenticity that is found less of today in the scene. Raw country instrumentation is often favored over synthesized strings and beats.

Opening the album is “Trip Around the Sun,” a barrage of hand-clapped beats and a crisp banjo paves the way for Chesney’s smooth voice. Singing of relaxation, this track is as lyrically laidback as can be. “Pulled along by gravity, and nobody knows why, so it’s a cosmic hallelujah that we’re sitting here right now,” Chesney sings. An anthem for snug summer nights, this track is a perfect listen for spending downtime enjoying life with friends. 

“All the Pretty Girls” carries the party-torch of the previous track. With his deep croon, Chesney details his nostalgia felt over his days in college. Moving into deeper territory, “Noise” features some social commentary, as

Chesney sings of how absorbed people of the 21st century are with technology. “Trapped in our phones and we can’t make it stop,”

he sings. With most people oblivious to their attachment to their devices, this track is a conscientious take on the current generation.

Lead single “Setting the World On Fire” features popstar Pink’s velvety voice. The duo entwines and sings of pure, blood-pumping romance. Set to an arpeggiated guitar lick, acoustic strums and a simple beat, Chesney and Pink’s harmonies are well-executed and never too flashy. The message is fun and as minimalistic as the music itself, and it works in their favor.

Chesney is one of the most profound country artists in today’s time. Taking pieces of modern country that is beloved by many, he has managed to put more effort into the words he sings than most, without being overly formulaic.

Instead of mindlessly singing of beer and pretty women, Chesney is passionate for his message of living in the moment and appreciating life. While the light-hearted, alcohol-centered themes are present, they are shadowed by introspective emotion and authenticity. “Cosmic Hallelujah” is the grace the country music world needed.