Single Review: Kenny Chesney, “Live a Little”

It starts with a pure pop/rock intro that goes on a little too long, but provides for a pleasantly jarring transition into acoustic country.  The first thirty seconds have that contrast which made Shania Twain’s The Woman in Me hits work so well.

But then it quickly disintegrates to generic Chesney: loud but not assertive, cute but not clever, upbeat but not uplifting.

It’s like listening to Bob Saget cover Sugarland’s “Something More.”

Written by Shane Minor and David Lee Murphy

Grade: C

Listen: Live a Little


  1. Sounds just like Keg in the Closet with different words. SOS from Chesney. But we all know, another #1. As Simon Cowell would say, “very forgettable”!

  2. I never thought Chesney was original nor clever, and this proves it.
    The first thought that popped into my head when I heard this was “gee, this sounds familiar…”
    The problem is not the general generic feel, but the idea that it literally pounds you over the head with ten other Chesney singles that mimic it while you’re listening to “Live A Little.”

    It has the same beat and uncanny lyrical similarities to “Livin’ In Fast Forward,” “Out Last Night,” “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems,” and several of his past songs.

    The idea that he would literally (almost) copy one of his OWN songs is just sad.

    I’ve never been a Chesney fan, but at this point, I’d be thrilled if he released something of substance, and out of his comfort zone.

    Is he even trying anymore???

  3. If you’re ever feeling down about Kenny Chesney do what I do and go put on something such as “When I Close My Eyes”, “I Will Stand”, “In My Wildest Dreams” or “She’s Got It All”. That is artist I want Kenny Chesney to be. But sadly a thousand sold-out Corona Extra concert tours with 40,000 people in a stadium and 400 songs about the sun, sand, beach and a tan getting big airplay on the radio crush my dreams.

  4. Why does he have to try? Radio plays him more than any other artist and almost all his singles go to #1(even if they sound the same as the one before it). Why does any fan want to see an artist in a stadium environment? That is one thing I’ve never understood. When I want to listen to an artist perform, less is best, but I guess it’s the partiers that prefer the stadium and could care less who’s up on stage. Never understood Kenny’s appeal and never will. I’ve never really thought his vocals were that good either. My daughter use to like Kenny a lot, but she said she outgrew him…she’s 28.

  5. It is sad that Kenny has no motivation or reason to try. Like so many others, he used to be so good. I agree with Mike. His 90s work is the kind of artist I want him to be, too.

    I heard this song the other morning and like everyone else was unimpressed. It’s very generic and left little impression on me. I thought the musical arraignment drowned out his voice so much so, I couldn’t hear him singing without turning the radio up a lot. That’s never an encouraging sign.

    But, no matter what, this is going to be a huge single. Everything Chesney touches turns to gold. It’ll translate well to his core audience and get everyone in the mood for his return to stadiums this summer.

    And Tom – GREAT line!

  6. The sad part of it is, I think he still occasionally records some decent music. The title track off of “Hemingway’s Whiskey” and “You and Tequila” are both good songs. I thought “The Boys of Fall” was a decent effort, and while I didn’t love “Somewhere With You”, the melody was at least a bit different than his usual ballads. I think when Chesney tries, he can be successful, or at the very least, a little more interesting.

    However, as mentioned by just about everyone who commented, this song is simply an interchangeable party anthem that fits in with most of his other uptempo songs released this decade. This is the Chesney that I find the least interesting, and that makes me change the station. Like others have mentioned, I can’t blame him for going to the conservative, money-making route, especially since his record label probably calls the shots. But, it would be cool to hear “You and Tequilla” on the radio instead of this retread.

  7. And I’m sure we can all bet on this music video having an ending with Kenny singing on a beach while everyone else parties with beers in their hands.

    Typical Kenny, but the formula works for him. It’ll be another #1 for him, so I’ll let him continue one with this process. As long as he keeps making great music like he did with some gems on “Hemingway’s Whiskey”, then I can let his generic videos and songs like this slide.

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