Review: Kenny Chesney featuring George Strait, “Shiftwork”

Kenny Chesney singing about the monotony of shiftwork, and it still manages to end up a song about getting drunk in the Caribbean. Strait’s presence livens things up a bit, and the “big ol’ pile of shiiiiiftwork” wordplay in the chorus is funny. It doesn’t hold up much on repeated listenings, however.

If you’re looking for an interesting song on the same subject, check out the compelling Lori McKenna-penned “I’m Workin'”, on the latest Tim McGraw album. If you’re in the mood for yet another island song, then this is for you. Of course, if you fit the latter description, you probably already have the Chesney album this is pulled from.

Grade: B-

Listen: Shiftwork

Buy: Shiftwork


  1. That’s a terrible song. The biggest waste of starpower I’ve heard in a long time. The pun loses it’s funny-ness after one listen, and the song is just not very well written to boot. I give it a D+.

  2. Kenny Chesney hasn’t released a single song I liked off of this album so far. And this is no different. In fact, this is one of the most boring songs I’ve ever heard.

    I once had described to me the difference between form and content. The person had two presents: one was a dull grey box, the other was bright, shiny, pink and purple gift bag with beautiful decorative ribbons. However, both packages contained the same thing. The content was the same, the form was different.

    Shiftwork doesn’t have a bad content so far that I’ve managed to force myself to listen to. It is relatable, because let’s face it, everyone hates shiftwork. The lyrics aren’t that bad, and I suppose you could say that Kenny and George try to reflected the dullness of shiftwork into the vocals. They succeeded. The form of the song is so horrifically dull and uninspiring, that I simply can’t not hate this song. It’s shitwork.

    Grade: F

  3. kenny had two in a row that i really liked, which is unsual, because usually i think his songs are pretty mediocre. i don’t care for this one at all. it is really boring. normally the first time i listen to a song i want to listen the whole way through just to hear what it sounds like, even if i dont like it, but this bored me so much i turned it off after about a minute

  4. Don’t Blink was one of the best songs ever so as far as nothing good coming out of this album I think people have been living under a rock. However I do admit that Never Wanted Nothin’ More was far from his best and this is too. I don’t like that credit is not given to George in the video or when the song is labeled on the charts sequence. The song covers an interesting topic and even Kenny stated that this song is one of the most unique he has ever heard let alone sang. So I think his purpose for releasing this one was to prove that point in the ears of his listeners.

  5. This song makes me sleepy…….yawn here!! Boring is putting it mildly! I just can’t stand this song! That’s it! Yeah Cowboy, it was odd hearing George’s voice and not seeing him in the video! However, the video was as boring as the song.

  6. I didn’t find it that bad, I heard only part of it the first time as I was getting in my car but when it came on a second time I had to turn it up to at least hear it. At first I didn’t like it much but it’s funny how things grow on you. I worked shift work for many years at a muchroom plant and they treat you like a mushroom…they keep you in the dark and feed you shit. The only way to keep yourself sane is to justify it by thinking about that trip to the beach where you party those hours instead of work. The transition to the beach in the end is exactly what you dream about when working those rediculous hours. That said I still think The Good Stuff is Chesney’s best song ever.

  7. I love Kenny and George’s song ShiftWork…. its light, peppy full of island rhythm and alot of fun to sing along with its just like a “Kenny Song”
    and George is a BIG plus in it….the Video is great too !!!!

  8. The song is not very good as afr as musical value that will hold throughout time. However, where was George Strait in the video? I love George Strait and I think if he was in the video the song would have been a lot more tolerable. All Kenny Chesney sings about anymore is getting drunk and being a waste of space on a beach somewhere. All I have to say is…Kenny you are NOT Jimmy Buffett and you will never be “like” Jimmy Buffett…he never would have sang a song about a tractor being sexy. In conclusion: George Strait and Jimmy Buffett are great artists and performers, Kenny is a drunk waste of space.

  9. This song is funny! Guess you have to actualy work shiftwork to get the song!! I was a nurse that worked first shift and my husband was a cop working third shift!! Just laughing my a** off when we sing the song the way it should be song. Perfect song to sing after a couple of drinks with friends!!

  10. Yeah I really don’t like this song it’s a snoozefest too me it’s got an ok chorus but that’s about it. I enjoyed a lot of Kenny’s recent songs but this one is way to slow and boring for me.

  11. I like it a LOT more than Don’t Blink. A LOT more.

    B- is an accurate grade to me.

    (That says a lot about what I think about Don’t Blink.)

  12. Who told them this was a good idea to record? Did the songwriter win a contest to have their song recorded? Worse than HonkyTonkBaD…I’ll always be a fan of Kenny and George but what a waste of their talent. Shame on the artists, management and producer.

  13. I love this song… It is so fun. I guess if you have never worked shift work you wouldn’t understand. Also Goerge Strait is a big plus.

  14. i like the song…i am not a fan of Chesney’s to the point that i buy his CD’s but i listened to it due to Strait’s involvement. This week Billboard is now promoting the song as an official “duet” and so George’s name appears along side Kenny’s. I saw the music video on-line and didn’t see George at all…the thing that i don’t get is why some of the radio DJ’s only say Kenny’s name and not Strait’s when it’s obvious that it’s a duet. It’s more of a duet than some of the singles recently that are promoted as duets but yet only feature someone singing harmony. At least on this recording, Strait sings some lines by himself. The song’s hook is the chorus and the “7 to 3, 3 to 11, 11 to 7” repetition. I find it ironic though that a lot of people feel it’s a travesty that George record a song that’s light and bouncy as this…if George himself didn’t care for the song i do not think he would agree to do it. His stature and longevity affords him the luxury to pick and choose what he wants to take part in so, in a way, those who bad-mouth the song are bad-mouthing George’s instincts and the song is in the Top-10 so everyone involved is satisfied.

  15. I’m amazed that any fan of George Strait would consider it a travesty that he recorded a light and bouncy song like this. Strait’s catalog of solo hits is populated with quite a few ditties that are even less substantial than this one.

  16. One of my eccentric peeves is when people call a song a duet when it is, in fact, not a duet. Such was the issue I had with CMT’s Greatest Duet’s countdown. I, however, think this song clearly lands in the duets category. Lines are at least exchanged rather than prominent harmony vocals during the choruses alone.

  17. quote from Kevin: “Strait’s catalog of solo hits is populated with quite a few ditties that are even less substantial than this one.”

    Yes, Strait has put out his share of sing-a-long ditties and i like them, too. “All My Ex’s Live in Texas”, “Write This Down”, “The Big One”, etc etc. One of my pet peeves are those who feel every song has to have a message or some kind. Strait can sing both kinds…bouncy songs or message-type of songs like “You’ll Be There”, “Love Without End, Amen”, “The Best Day”, and his recent hit, “I Saw God Today”. I’m not saying the songs are preachy but they do deliver messages of some kind or another. So, i’m just sayin’ in my opinion, not every song Strait or anyone puts out for that matter has to have some big message or substance. The sing-a-long, let’s forget your troubles approach is good as well.

  18. I’m not a huge Chesney fan, but I LOVE George Strait’s works. This song has a good beat and fun, tropical sound that is catchy. The words, to me, are hilarious and I have enjoyed listening to the song…..I was HUGELY disappointed with the video. It may have been Strait’s choice not to be in the video, or Kenny may not have invited him.
    Whichever is the case, the video stinks.

  19. I loved shiftwork and I didn’t think it was any worse than any of the other videos…whatare you people looking for and xrated movie?

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