Single Review: Kenny Chesney, “Bar at the End of the World”

“Bar at the End of the World”
Kenny Chesney

Written by J.T. Harding, Aimee Mayo, and David Lee Murphy

This would’ve been a great David Lee Murphy record in 1995.

“Bar at the End of the World” sounds so much like “Dust On the Bottle” that it pains me to hear Kenny Chesney singing it instead of its co-writer, a talent that faded away from radio far too soon.

I know why Kenny Chesney keeps recording songs about drinking in beach towns around the world. It’s what he does and it’s what he loves. So it’s strange to hear him sounding rather disconnected singing about them. It’s the same apathy that I heard on “Setting the World On Fire.” Maybe he’s just getting tired of singing about them.

Cosmic Hallelujah has some great moments on it. “Bucket” is clever and hilarious. “Rich and Miserable” is biting social commentary. “Jesus and Elvis” is a Matraca Berg co-write that ranks among her strongest compositions.

Chesney’s best work these days is when he’s expanding the themes of his work instead of revisiting the old standbys. I hope a wider audience gets to hear the stronger material on his latest album.

Grade: C


  1. You LIKE “Bucket,” Kevin???? Personally, that song finally got me to join the many people who hate Kenny Chesney. Along with that other song where he celebrates global warming…

    Oh, well.

    But I totally agree that this song is just boring as heck.

  2. Never been a Chesney fan. His vocal prowess is almost non-existent. One of my favorite songs that he has recorded is “While He Still Knows Who I Am”, a song written by Georgia Middleman, Dave Berg & Tom Douglas. It was an album track from KC’s “Welcome to the Fishbowl” cd. I’ve heard Georgia sing it a few times at the Bluebird. I’m hoping that it will be on her new album because I will not buy the Chesney version on i-tunes.

  3. I thought “Bucket” was clever!

    There was also a time when Kenny Chesney was among my favorite male vocalists because I loved his voice. It had a lot of personality and character back in the day. I liked him from his early songs like “Whatever it Takes,” “Grandpa Told Me So,” and “A Chance.”

    It’s weird how Tim McGraw became a better singer as he got older – his voice used to irritate me – but Chesney became a more generic one.

  4. When was McGraw a poor singer? His, what, second or third album had “Can’t Be Really Gone.” And then his fourth album had “Everywhere.” I feel like he was always an effective interpreter, even if his technical prowess was always lacking.

  5. Kenny has always gotten his songs played on radio no matter what he released. Now he’s got a heck of a lot more competition. He’s staying the same, nothing different, but country is evolving and he is losing a lot of his fan base and they are outgrowing him too. Never understood his greatness.

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