Personally, I’d “Get Along” a lot better if Kenny Chesney would give up trying to make a statement in increasingly uninteresting ways.
Over the last few years, Chesney has occasionally felt the need to make some sort of semi-socially-conscious statement about the world around him, and inevitably, the resulting track is disappointing and forgettable. There was the hamfisted, generic “Noise,” the synthetic, predictable laundry list “Rich And Miserable,” the lifeless David Lee Murphy collab “Everything’s Gonna Ba Alright,” and now we’ve got “Get Along,” a confusing, uninspiring track that implores us to go out and live our lives, but only succeeds in putting us to sleep.
To its credit, the song’s production is a sizable step up from Chesney’s prior motivational tunes. The electric guitars and synthetic percussion are still here, but their role is much smaller here, as the spotlight is turned over to a bright acoustic guitar and a much-more-than-token banjo (it even shares top billing with an electric guitar during the solo!). Similarly, the minor chords and dark-toned instruments are tossed in favor of an upbeat, optimistic atmosphere that looks to the future instead of bemoaning the present. While the weak writing shirks its duties and leaves the listener unsure of what to think (more on that later), the mix does a nice job stepping in and setting a clear tone, signaling to the listener that the song should leave them happy, even if they aren’t sure why. Unfortunately, the mix doesn’t quite deliver the energy to back up these feelings, and whatever sugar rush it gives its audience is short-lived.
I’ve been a little nervous about Chesney since his mailed-in performance on “Bar At The End Of The World,” but he puts in enough effort here to at least sound earnest, if not convincing. The song places few strains on his range or flow, so Chesney’s charisma has to carry the day, and…well, his delivery might have been enough to pull it off if the song had been a bit more coherent. He sounds genuinely curious when posing questions to the phone sex billboard, and seems genuinely tickled by his “getting rained on with an old man” anecdote. That said, his claim that we should all just “get along” feels a bit hollow, and he doesn’t bring the evidence or the energy to really sell the audience on the idea.
And then there’s the writing, which is less of a kumbaya, “let’s all get along” song and more of an escapist, “ignore the noise” song (think Chris Janson’s “Fix A Drink,” but with a lot less alcohol). Frankly, this thing is scattered all over the place: The narrator tells his wet-old-man story, ponders the background of a 900-number woman, and oh yeah, you should go out and life your life, you know? The verses seem to have no connection to the chorus whatsoever (the phone sex story stands out for its lack of a punch line), and the chorus’s proposed laundry bucket list is boilerplate and boring (Drink! Paint! Sing! And don’t forget to call home!) It’s like listening to my grandfather take fifteen minutes to tell a story because he keeps getting sidetracked and telling other stories, except my grandfather doesn’t put people to sleep nearly as quickly.
“Get Along” is yet another attempt by Kenny Chesney to prove that he has something to say, and winds up as yet another piece of evidence that he actually doesn’t. It’s a small step up from his last few sermons thanks to the production, but it’s a large step backwards from “All The Pretty Girls” thanks to its bizarre lyrics. Given the choice, I’d rather sit around and worry about the world’s problems than listen to this incoherent snoozefest.
Rating: 5/10. It’s a decent replacement for Zzzquil, I suppose.