November 20, 2010
Following in the footsteps of Taylor Swift’s “Mine” and Tim McGraw’s “Felt Good On My Lips,” Kenny Chesney’s latest single sheds its country coat for, in his case, a mellow, strictly-rock groove. Though it’s a little edgier than usual, “Somewhere With You” finds Chesney doing what he’s built half his career doing: brooding. And it all looks and sounds a little “haven’t I heard this before?”…until the chorus hits.
It’s the kind of chorus that feels more like an experience than a string of lyrics. Chesney takes you through an intoxicating whirlwind of memories, outlining the specific moments –on a carnival ride, in a cheap hotel room, on a rain-soaked beach– that built his bond with the girl he can’t seem to shake. There’s a palpable intensity to his monologue, with its potent rhythm and mix of literal and emotionally-charged details.
The kicker is that, though Chesney’s character is clearly tortured by his lingering feelings, you’re left with the inkling that the two didn’t share a pure, selfless love – but, rather, a love that filled holes and fed an addiction. The searing couplet “I hate my life/hold onto me” hints at a darker aspect of their love, and Chesney’s signature monotone delivery serves as a chilling backdrop to this sentiment. It’s an intriguing take on Chesney’s tried-and-true theme of nostalgia.
Written by J.T. Harding & Shane McAnally
Listen: Somewhere With You