Album Review – Kenny Chesney’s ‘Cosmic Hallelujah’


If you asked me what mainstream country artist I get questioned the most on when it comes to my position on them, it would be hands down Kenny Chesney. I usually have a pretty negative or lukewarm take on his music and this seems to take a good bit of people off guard, much to my surprise. I’m not sure why I’m supposed to be impressed by an artist whose career has consisted mostly of music about the beach, simplistic themes that have been done to death and drinking. I thought his last album The Big Revival really drove this across, but apparently it didn’t. So now Chesney returns with the followup to it, Cosmic Hallelujah. This title just screams bullshit to me, but I still gave it chance since there’s not many other releases coming up in November. It was pretty much what I expected all along and further reinforced my stance on his music because Chesney does absolute nothing new on this album.

This is same old tired schtick from Chesney I’ve heard for years from him. There’s a boring, generic song about how we should live it up because we’re alive, so let’s crack a can of (insert current Chesney beer sponsor) and party that I feel like I’ve heard a 1,001 times and counting. Can you guess which song I’m referring to? Trick question! This actually refers to multiple songs, including “Trip Around the Sun,” “Some Town, Somewhere” and “Winnebago.” Of course pretty much every song alludes to this theme in some way or another. Chesney sings about only listening to pretty girls on “All the Pretty Girls.” I don’t what the hell the appeal of this song is and I don’t really want to waste precious air and time on trying to figure it out. It’s three and a half minutes I’ll never get back.

“Setting The World On Fire” is this album’s big hit so far, despite the fact the guest of the song Pink sings more than purported main artist of the song, Chesney. The only thing I have to further add about this song is I would rather be listening to Pink over Chesney any day because her music is actually interesting. There’s a song on this album called “Bar at the End of the World,” which makes no sense because I thought Chesney and Pink already set the world on fire. Yeah I know this is a bad joke, but I assure you that this is more interesting than the song, which is also a bad joke.

I was expecting to like at least one song on the album and the most likely candidate seemed to be “Jesus and Elvis.” That’s because two of the three songwriters on the song are Hayes Carll and Allison Moorer, who I greatly respect and enjoy their work. Well I don’t even like this one because this song seems to have an idea, but never does anything with it. The theme seems to be reuniting with old friends, but this is never expanded upon or has anything meaningful to say. We just keep hearing Chesney drone on about velvet paintings of Jesus and Elvis. The album’s lead single “Noise” is so damn boring that country radio didn’t even like it and they’ll usually play any bullshit Chesney sends to them. That should tell you all you need to know about this lame attempt by Chesney to say something about the prevalence of media today. What’s sad is this is probably the best song on Cosmic Hallelujah. And I haven’t gotten to the very worst of this album.

I’m on record as not being a fan of Chesney’s hit song “Boys of Fall” due to the fact it’s a song that over-glorifies high school football to the point I want to puke and features some of the most saccharine bullshit I’ve ever seen spewed about sports. And this comes from a sport fans. So you can put me down for the same thing when it comes to this album’s concluding song “Coach.” Also I’m officially predicting this will be Chesney’s current single in the fall of 2017. If I had to pick the dumbest song of the album, it would have to go to “Bucket.” Written by Brett James and Craig Wiseman, this song is getting drunk and saying fuck it to your responsibilities. This isn’t just me showing anger; this is what the song is actually about as Chesney sings a line about how you should replace the b in bucket list with an f. Some will argue this is just a dumb fun song, but I argue this is just plain dumb.

There’s a lot of boring crap on this album and it makes me want to rip my hair out. But there’s only song on this album that really pisses me off and that’s “Rich and Miserable.” This might be the worst song of Chesney’s entire career, even worse than “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy.” It’s a stilted, clunky, heavily pop influenced song that is essentially “Noise 2: Electric Boogaloo.” Chesney does not sing on this song, but is rather somewhere between shouting and mumbling. I think the title of the song perfectly personifies where Chesney’s career and mindset is at this time.

I can confidently say after listening to Kenny Chesney’s Cosmic Hallelujah that I never want to hear it again for the rest of my life. I absolutely hate this album and I was actively angry as I forced myself to listen to it. If you made me choose between listening to this album or Florida Georgia Line’s newest album Dig Your Roots, I would choose the latter every single time because the latter actually has some good songs. Chesney clearly isn’t trying anymore and just wants this paycheck. At this point he’s just rehashing the same old songs we’ve heard from him year after year.

Grade: 3/10


Recommend? – Hell No!

Album Highlights: Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing to see here.

Bad Songs: Rich and Miserable, Coach, Bucket, All the Pretty Girls

Wallpaper: The rest of the album

Stream The Entire Album Below I Guess:

11 thoughts on “Album Review – Kenny Chesney’s ‘Cosmic Hallelujah’

  1. warthog123 November 8, 2016 / 12:18 pm

    I haven’t cared about anything Chesney has put out in years, and I generally avoid his new music like the plague. But, I’m a huge Hayes Carll fan, so I had to give “Jesus & Elvis” a listen. I didn’t think it was that bad, then I found video on Youtube of Hayes and Allison singing it, and really enjoyed it. Hope we see a studio version of it from them soon.


  2. OlaR November 8, 2016 / 12:49 pm

    It’s the same sound, same lyrics, same production for the 1001 time.
    Boring & KC is not even trying anymore. Like Aldean, Shelton or Urban.

    Billboard Country Update (11/07):
    Luke Bryan is not moving..
    Kenny Chesney is the new #1 (Top Country Albums).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jmartin103 November 8, 2016 / 3:19 pm

    Another spot-on review, Josh!

    This is probably the worst of Chesney’s albums so far. I’d grade it about a Strong 1 to Light 2 out of 10 because of most of the same reasons you listed here. Just more pop-leaning songs and songs about him pretending to still be 16 years old. He’s clearly run out of ideas. If you want to listen to good Chesney music, go back and listen to “The Good Stuff”, “You Had Me from Hello” (probably my favorite song of his), “There Goes My Life”, and most of his 90s stuff.


  4. Amanda November 8, 2016 / 5:54 pm

    Kenny Chesney is just a big bucket of “meh” anymore. A shame, because he used to be pretty decent, back in the 90’s and early 2000’s. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Kenny Chesney is, by far, the blandest and most boring artist in mainstream country music today.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Nadia Lockheart November 9, 2016 / 5:25 am

    Why reward it three whole points then?

    Just curious is all: seeing that “Noise” is the closest you step to praise on any individual track and even there it’s mostly negative. Is it more a reflection of the album being instantly forgettable as a whole?


    • Josh Schott November 9, 2016 / 5:09 pm

      Pretty much. This boringness of this album more than anything infuriated me. As a listener I didn’t feel like I was rewarded for my time.

      Liked by 1 person

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