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Kenny Chesney, ‘Reality’ – Song Review

Kenny Chesney
BNA Nashville

With a few exceptions, Kenny Chesney has alternated between summertime jams and more introspective ballads when it comes time to pick singles. He continues that trend with ‘Reality,’ the fifth single from ‘Hemingway’s Whiskey.’

The song does and says all the right things, but it’s as predictable as Chesney’s slow/fast, slow/fast single pattern. He mostly coasts into the chorus. “And everybody has their way / Somehow to escape / Reality / Yeah, sometimes life ain’t all that it’s cracked up to be / So let’s take a chance and live this fantasy / ‘Cause everybody needs to break free from reality.

Chesney on cruise control is still a pretty fun ride, though. Lyrically, there’s plenty to latch onto, and the electric guitar lick that drives the song is good enough to get fans excited for next summer’s nationwide tour. The second verse goes, “Yeah, some days it’s a b—-h, it’s a bummer / We need a rock ‘n’ roll show in the summer / To let the music take us away / Take our minds to a better place / Where we feel that sense of freedom / Leave our worries behind, we don’t need ‘em / All we need is a sunny day and an old tailgate.”

One could fairly claim ‘Reality’ is ‘Live a Little’ Part II. Both songs have a similar “take a break from life” message, and both fail to capture the live energy that Chesney consistently inserted into uptempo hits in the past (‘Summertime,’ ‘Living in Fast Forward’ and certainly ‘Big Star’). His new single is a good song, but when there’s potential for great, it feels like somewhat of a letdown.

3 Stars

Listen to Kenny Chesney, ‘Reality’

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