Kenny Chesney, “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven”

There’s an essential truth forming the foundation of Kenny Chesney’s new single: we all want to go to Heaven, but we don’t want to go today. I enjoyed the lyric, which I initially dismissed as a slow-paced retread of “Living in Fast Forward”, but eventually slipped in a little satire about church collections.

What holds this record back is the production. The calypso trimmings used to be a distinctive trademark of Kenny Chesney records, but by now, they’re a crutch. It’s a feel that doesn’t the song, and it brings down the entire record.

Grade: B

Listen: Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven

Buy: Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven


  1. This song does nothing for me!! If it goes to the top….which I’m sure it will after the dreadful “Shiftwork” made it ,then I know it’s just a popularity thing and not for talent! Is this all it takes to be Entertainer of the year? Excuse me while I go “bob my head”!

  2. I like the offering plate thing too. I agree though, that this song’s island production is too predictable and ruins the song. There’s a chance I might have liked it otherwise.

  3. OMG! Talk about BAAAAD!! I totally agree with the “Shiftwork” comment… that this too will probably be a hit if that was.
    I could not agree more that this whole “Beach Cowboy” persona is tired and enough already with the redneck reggae.

    I just don’t get the whole Kenny Chesney craze… then again, I don’t get Rascal Flatts million selling appeal either.

  4. I think I like George’s version better, but it’s because I like his voice better than Kenny’s!! Chris N…….that is too funny!!

  5. If God’s will is for country music’s entertainer of the year to treat us to nothing but tropical beats and island themes, well, I think we should all just drink a margarita and live with it.

  6. I have to admit that this morning I couldn’t get past the fact that it was another “Kenny Island Reggae” song to listen to the lyrics. Thanks to your review, I decided to look up the lyrics.

    I came up with this fun fact: Alison Krauss and Loretta Lynn both recorded a song called: “Everybody Want to Go to Heaven (But Nobody Wants to Die).” It’s pretty much the same as the Kenny/George song. Is Kenny/George’s song considered a re-write?

  7. I can’t get this song out of my head, which means I’m probably in a minority in that I like this song. Is it another in the long list of Kenny Goes to the Beach songs, sure but this song is catchy, and the lyric is good. That, and I’ve played it a lot today. It will be a hit, and it will be overplayed like Don’t Blink was and I will get annoyed by it, but now, it’s a nice little song from Country’s biggest artist.

  8. Lynn, I’d argue that while the title and initial premise are the same, the actual song is different. The melody, the Caribbean production and even the lyrics are less “Biblical” and more light.

  9. well that is Kenny if you don’t like him then do not listen to him he will still sell MILLIONS and that is all that matters. Go to a Kenny concert and you will see what he is all about. IF any of you listened to Kenny’s music you would know that not all tunes are ISLAND REGEE

  10. Leeann, I agree they aren’t the same; that’s why I thought maybe a re-write inspired by it, because there are a lot of similarities. The catch-line and the fact one has a talk with God asking for more time. The other has a talk with a Preacher asking him to tell God that he’s having fun and isn’t in a hurry. Loretta definitely didn’t sing in a “calypso” style (as Kenny puts it), but … hmm, that’s a weird thought. Can you imagine Loretta Lynn singing in “calypso” style?

  11. I like the George Strait version better. Kennys doesnt feel country at all. Im tired of all the island crap. This is country music not island music!!!!

  12. This kind of music is what Kenny Chesney is all about. It’s who he is and what the people have come expect and love about him. I won’t say that every Chesney song should have an island influence because I hope that that never happens, but what other country artist has been as dedicated to his fans and to what he loves? Whatever people may say, Kenny deserves all of the awards and fame that he gets and this song will be a hit.

  13. George’s has a Caribbean production too. I guess it was written that way. Too bad someone didn’t see past it and produce it a different way.

  14. without a doubt, Kenny Chesney is one of the biggest artists in music today. the island feel of this song, like so many kenny songs, is not some plan to look or sound like Buffett. but it is who he is and what he loves. “Everybody wants to go to Heaven”, isnt an island song, its a summer song. no doubt this song shouldnt be a hit for kenny and i cant wait for the new album.

  15. I love this song it is a good country song, I think Kenny sings it better than George.
    And I hope he is putting out another island cd. Be As You Are is my favorite cd.

  16. Kenny is awesome and is one of the best musician’s / entertainer’s out there. I realize that people have their own opinions and well I do too. This song and album is supposed to be similar to his “Be As You Are” album. It is going to be a personal album for his fans. It will have more of an island vibe but that is what Kenny is all about and that is why so many people like his music. Not all of his music is island related, in fact a lot of his big hits aren’t island related—“I Go Back”, “I Lost It”, “Me and You”, “Big Star”, “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy”, “There Goes My Life”, “Young”, “Don’t Blink”, “Never Wanted Nothing More”, etc. You get my drift. Kenny is my favorite singer and this is another great cut by Kenny.

  17. Chad,

    Your description of the upcoming Chesney album as being in the vein of “Be Where You Are” gives context to the song that I didn’t have while reviewing it. Thanks for sharing it!

  18. Well, I can’t say this is a huge improvement for Kenny, but after the abomination that was Shiftwork, this is much better. I can’t say I like this song (although I haven’t heard it very many times), but the light reggae feel to it makes it seem a little easier to listen to than his last four boring singles.

  19. Chad, I agree with you totally…Another HIT for Kenny…I like this song a lot. All of you who wonder why he gets Entertainer of the year…just buy the country mega ticket..go to all the country concerts…then you will have no questions as to why he is chosen. His concerts are HOT and VERY Entertaining…not slow and boring…Standing room only, and he draws people from all age groups. Lots of people love his music..Check out his concerts and you will see why. He sings what his fans like. Some hits are island music, but the majority are not. GREAT SONG…can’t wait for the cd.

  20. Well I love the song and everyone that is complaining about it , you don’t have to listen to it , you just have nothing better to do than complain. Kenny deserves another hit and entertainer of the year. He puts on an amazing show. No one is sitting down its soooooo much fun. I can’t wait til’ the album comes out be as you are was the best. If you love the beach he is who you listen to.

  21. Leeann,
    “You can’t love the beach if you don’t listen to Kenny Chesney” is a corollary of “You can’t love America if you don’t love Toby Keith!”

  22. Kenny is the man. Just because there is already a Jimmy Buffet doesn’t mean we can’t have more island music. Actually, we need more island music. It’s great stuff and Kenny is just as good as or possibly better than Buffet. Accept the fact that the beat is great, the song is great, and simply, Kenny is the man.

  23. I Love Kenny’s “Everybody wants to go to Heaven”. I admit I would love it if kenny was just singing the ABC’s because I Love Kenny! Real country music fans know that you don’t need complicated poetry for a hit song. You need a catchy song with relatable lyrics for everyday people. Country Music feels like their singing to you, or about you. Thats why people love it. KENNY ROCKS!!!

  24. Why does everyone have a problem with Kenny having a style?

    I just saw him in Concert LAST NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!! He rocked the stage and worked so hard to provide us with an outstanding experience that lasted well into the early morning hours!!!!!!!!!

    He performed for over 2 hrs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  25. I just wanna know have any of you been to a Kenny concert? I’ve been to 5 and they are awesome!!!! Anyone who is a Kenny fan would know that Kenny is all about the islands, that’s his trademark!!! Personally I love the island music the cd Be As You Are is one of my favorites!!! I love Everybody Wanna Go To Heaven, I’d love to go to heaven with Kenny!!! So people listen up go out and but all of Kenny’s cd’s and go to one of his concerts it will be an experience you will never forget.

    Kenny if your reading this you are my all time favorite singer and I hope someday being in your fan club I can meet you!!! My goal is to go to everyone of your concerts that come to St. Louis. Hope to meet you in St. Louie!!!


  26. I love Kenny and I love his style! If he wants to chill on the beach, what the hell? I say go for it! He is doing an awesome job at performing!!! I love this song, I think it is catchy and fun!!

    Love ya Kenny!

  27. Shiftwork reminds me of the Hokey Pokey! Wonder if Kenny released that, it would become a #1 song? I guess it would as long as you were doing it on the beach and holding a beer accompanied by a raggae band! I say go for it KC!

  28. I think Keith Urban or Brad Paisley should be Entertainer of the Year as Keenny isn’t the only one that puts on a good live show. I am a christian and for me this song is sacreligious in that it talks about putting an extra $20 in the offering plate at church to cover the sins he did for that day and is going to do that night. Same thing when Dierks Bently a few years back on an award show gave an acceptance speech and basically said Lord forgive me for the sins I’m going to commit tonight. I think the song and that by Dierks really puts out a wrong message. Drinking and partying doesn’t mix with God. We all fall short but to purposely go out and drink and party, etc. and supposedly have a close relationship with Jesus and be saved that isn’t good. To me if your saved then the way you live your life each day says alot about you as a person and as a follower of Jesus. The only thing with Kenney Chesney is that there isn’t much depth in his songs in that he either likes to look back at his high school or college days or talk about getting away on an island. Just my two cents.

  29. Kenny Chesney rocks and his beautiful voice is why he has #1 songs!!! He is entertainer of the year because he does just that, entertains better than anybody and anyone who likes bob that head should just go get a redneck rap album and stay away from country music!!!! and Jimmy Buffet can’t even compare to the sexy Kenny Chesney!!!!!!

  30. Kenny Chesney is real! He didn’t write the song and if George Strait had recorded the song, nobody would have said a thing about it being sacreligious!! It’s just a fun song!!! He’s not a saint and never claimed to be!!

  31. Now that I’ve got a few more chances to hear this song, I’ve come to liking it. And it’s about time too. I knew he could do better than what he did with his last five singles.

  32. in 25 years, people will look back at Kenny Zellweger and feel guilty for putting a Nashville Puppet up so high in album sales. Buffet hack that doesn’t write any of his popular songs or play guitar. He’s the dancin chicken referred to in Pure Country, no respect from anyone with any ear or eye for music. He’s riding the wave and musically ignorant people continue to keep running into the ocean to keep the wave moving. Literally makes me sick to my stomach to know that he’s a spokesperson for country music. He’s just another clown, too in touch with his feminine side to really be an artist or star, just another clown that fools his “fans”, most of which probably think that he’s a songwriter and guitar player guru. I’ll take you on any day Renee, uh, Kenny, when it comes to music.

  33. Charlie,

    It is perfectly fine to express displeasure with an artist and his/her music, but please be more respectful about it in the future.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Jim Malec’s Blog - Single Review: Kenny Chesney - “Everybody Wants to go to Heaven”
  2. Top Posts «

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.