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Kenny Chesney, ‘American Kids’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

American Kids CP
Columbia Nashville

Kenny Chesney proves he’s not ready to give up his King of Summertime crown just yet with ‘American Kids,’ a funky new song from his upcoming album. It’s a flavorful mix of imagery and nostalgia wrapped up efficiently with a Jesus bow.

Much like ‘Never Wanted Nothing More’ from 2007, ‘American Kids’ just feels right from the speakers or headphones. Instantly, one wants the windows down or that feeling of 89-degree heat leaving scales along the shoulders or tops of the flip-flopped feet.

Doublewide Quick Stop midnight t-top Jack in her Cherry Coke town / Mama and Daddy put their roots right here / ‘Cause this is where the car broke down,” Chesney sings to begin, with sparse percussion and acoustic propping up a one-string guitar riff. “Yellow dog school bus kickin’ up red dust / Pickin’ us up by a barbed wire fence / MTV on the RCA, no A/C in the vents.

Hand claps sound like tires over cracks along the open highway during this feel-good roadtrip song. Chesney was right when he said there isn’t another country song quite like this. The guitar solo feels uniquely Middle Eastern, but the story is 100 percent made in the USA.

We were Jesus save me, blue jean baby, Born in the USA / Trailer park truck stop, faded little map dots, New York to LA / We were teenage dreamin’, front seat leanin’ / Baby, come give me a kiss / Put me on the cover of the Rolling Stone / ptown down home American kids.

‘American Kids’ is the song Chesney fans have wanted for several years — his best party song since ‘Summertime’ in 2006. Expect this to begin a resurgence of the 46-year-old’s career, following a few singles that were received with lackluster enthusiasm.

Key Lyrics: “Growin’ up in little pink houses / Makin’ out on living room couches / Blowin’ that smoke on a Saturday night / A little messed up, but we’re all alright”

Did You Know?: Chesney says he recorded a full album and then scrapped it because it wasn’t what he wanted. The upcoming new album — rumored to be released in late September — is exactly what he wants.

Listen to Kenny Chesney, ‘American Kids’

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