Single Review: Kenny Chesney, “The Boys of Fall”

Chesney’s made a career out of nostalgia trips like this one.  Here, he’s reminiscing for the glory of being on the high school football team. He’s been down this road before, more times than I can count at this point.

But I dare say this one’s just a little different. Chesney sounds older, much older. Not wiser, mind you. Just older.

This is not a man singing about the glory days of youth while he settles down and starts a family. This sounds more like a man who has entered his forties and nothing has come along since those high school days to give his life meaning.

It’s a sad record. The melancholy is palpable.  Chesney sounds defeated and depressed.

Needless to say, it’s his best nostalgia trip in a very long time.

Grade: B+

Listen: The Boys of Fall


  1. I think this is definitely one of the better songs we’ve heard from Kenny lately. At least this one doesn’t end up as a party on the beach by the time it’s over.

  2. I still don’t understand why radio flips over everything Chesney releases. This song is just so-so. Nothing special..IMO. He’s 40ish and still reminiscing about high school. Get a real life Kenny!

  3. At least he isn’t trying to be Jimmy Buffett here. That got old in a hurry, though in Chesney’s defense he hasn’t been the only one in Nashville doing the faux-Margaritaville schtick.

  4. I grew up in Western Pennsylvania which is a hot bed for high school football talent. Its a religion to us all. Friday nights are the most incredible feeling stepping on to that field in front of 7,000 people in a sell out high school football stadium. This song paints a perfect picture of what life is like there. The old timers still talk about that rival game or that 4th and 19 passing play to go to state. The closing of stores with “Gone to State” placed on the doors. The signs leading up to the high school staidum of all the players numbers and encouragement. Its a community and small town thing. The parade of police cars and fire trucks leading the bus back to the high school after winning states. Trust me, if you have ever been surrounded by this type of emotion, this song hits home and boy is it a good one.

  5. This song makes me think of Friday Night Lights, the television show, which I love for some odd reason, since I could actually care less about football as a game.

  6. I’m not a Kenny fan, but this song is one of his best efforts in a long time. I agree there is something different about it- in a good way.

    I do think he’s tried to do nogalestic songs in the past, but not all of them have worked well for him.

    I see the single as promising- but he still has a long way to go before he shows a more mature side to his music.

  7. I am an unashamed KC fan — his voice always speaks to me, and frequently even the songs I don’t initially love tend to grow on me (‘Out Last Night’ is a good example of a silly song that I have come to really enjoy).

    Just listening to this one for the first time, and it really is melancholy. Most of his nostalgia songs have a sense of upbeat to them, but this one really does sound sad. While it’s certainly not at that level, there’s a very Bruce ‘Glory Days’ feel.

  8. I tuned into the radio today and heard this. The melody reminded me a little bit of what Mary Chapin Carpenter would write, which is always a good thing. Thumbs up on this one.

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