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