Monday, July 17th, 2017

Kenny Chesney – All the Pretty Girls

All the old dudes…


Alfred Soto: My sister was on my case a couple years ago for not giving him a chance,  so I’ve spent the last six months exploring a catalog whose  consistency indicates no cohesion, ideological or otherwise. Aesthetic  cohesion, though — let him have it. “All the Pretty Girls” could’ve been  written for 2002’s No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems; hell, he could’ve covered XTC’s “All You Pretty Girls” and made it taut.

Austin Brown: Laying it on too thick by far, but something about that distinctly soul-searching guitar figure between the verses manages to render this sucker’s all-too-familiar tale in three dimensions regardless.

Thomas Inskeep: I like the big, rockin’ production on this, courtesy of Chesney and longtime studio partner Buddy Cannon. But these lyrics are stupid, and Chesney’s way too old to be singin’ ’em.

Jonathan Bradley: Kenny Chesney sounds much better acquainted with that Don Gehman-esque guitar crunch than he is with any of these pretty girls, and if he’d paid better attention to either he might not have rhymed “just got paid” with “I wanna get laid.” (It’s not that the couplet is terrible per se; I just want to hear it from Mötley Crüe or ’86 Beasties, not Carolina Shore Dr. Seuss.) As a rule, Chesney’s fun sounds more convincing the less energy he expends on it, and though plenty of good music has come from warm weather and young men’s fantasies, by the second chorus, Chesney’s resigned to going through the motions. Yes, this song is heteronormative and objectifying, but it doesn’t even work on its own terms: Chesney makes no effort to find the romanticism or lust or larger-than-life momentousness in his bullshit, as a successful take on this form like “American Country Love Song” does.

Katherine St Asaph: With country having supplanted ’90s pop-rock, it was only a matter of time before the genre got its lyrical successor to “Summer Girls.”

Josh Langhoff: Pretty sure this is a weak misreading of “Free Fallin'” in which pretty girls = good girls and lost boys = vampires, with L.A. twinkling through a haze of mythological nonsense. Only while I’ve spent the last 30 years pondering what it might be like to “free fall out into nothing,” Kenny Chesney and I have already stopped caring what all the pretty girls in his fevered imagination might or might not have said. If your Nashville power lunch produces a piece of crap song that nods to ’80s nostalgia and being “home for the summer,” pitch it to Kenny! He’s got a real ear for how the seventeens talk.

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