Single Review: Kenny Chesney with Mac McAnally, “Down the Road”

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November 15, 2008

It stands to reason that a single that combines the talents of the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year and Musician of the Year would be entertaining to listen to and musically interesting.

But country music doesn’t always bend its will to reason, and this collaboration showcases the weaknesses of both talents, with Chesney’s disinterested vocal matching McAnally’s similarly lifeless accompaniment.   The result is as dull a record as you’re likely to hear on country radio today, which is a remarkable feat in itself.

Written by Mac McAnally

Grade: C

Listen: Down the Road

Buy: Down the Road

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  1. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve read other places where people really seem to like this song, but I agree with your assessment. I’m glad I’m not alone. It really does sound lifeless and the storyline is boringly underdeveloped.

  2. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar says:

    I didn’t touch on it in my review, but I agree with you completely about the storyline. Telling the exact same thing with different pronouns is a pretty lazy way to make a song a duet.

  3. Matt B.No Gravatar says:

    I love this song so in that regard I disagree with you. Perhaps I love it because it means Mac will have a big ol’ hit again?

  4. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    I really like Mac’s voice. I bought the song back when the CD was released because of Mac, but ended up being disappointed by it. I’ll add the melody to the things that I think is boring about it. From what I’ve been reading, I know Kevin and I will be in the minority on this one though. I think it’s nice that Kenny included Mac instead of some big name artist–that’s classy.

  5. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar says:

    Y’know, I pretty much agree with this review too. I really liked it the first time I heard it, mostly because the melody has that understated, 70′s-pop-folk-singer-songwriter quality to it that I tend to love, but a few other listens bring out that the story goes nowhere and pretty much says nothing. Glad Mac is sure to have another hit, but not my favorite song.

  6. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    I admit to being a sucker for the understated folky thing too, actually.

  7. BernadetteNo Gravatar says:

    I just heard the song and I really liked it.

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