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Kenny Chesney, ‘Pirate Flag’ – Song Review

Pirate Flag
Blue Chair Records / Columbia Nashville

From the first note, one knows the new single from Kenny Chesney‘s upcoming album is filled with more hope than much of the pensive material on ‘Welcome to the Fishbowl.’ ‘Pirate Flag’ opens softly — with strings and a bouncy mandolin — before Chesney begins to tell his story. 

It’s a familiar story, because we all know the singer so well. “Well I come from a little-bitty, home-grown small town / Smoky mountains, nice place to hang around / Moonshine, that’s where they make it / Put it in a jug, makes you wanna get naked,” Chesney sings to begin the first verse.

The more organic approach on this song is a breath of fresh air. The melody isn’t immediately catchy, but the arrangement bounces along in a pleasing manner. Lyrically, it doesn’t hold up to some of the more introspective songs from ‘Fishbowl,’ but to be fair, tracks like ‘El Cerrito Place’ are a cut better than most of what is found on the radio.

I spend my whole life running around / Still have the wind come and blow me around / I dropped a note in a bottle / To a long-legged model / And I traded it in for a whole ‘nother world / A pirate flag and an island girl,” the singer explains during the chorus.

David Lee Murphy and Ross Copperman wrote ‘Pirate Flag.’ Murphy is the man behind hits ‘Live a Little’ and ‘Living in Fast Forward,’ and he shows he’s staying in tune with the superstar with a song that matches the softer path Chesney is walking. The story feels like an autobiography, which makes it somewhat difficult to fully embrace it in that personal way country fans find to be so satisfying.

Don’t know what makes you say what the hell / But when the salt air catches ahold of that sail / Something about it makes her just want to dance / And she loves to dance,” he says to close the second verse. We haven’t all been there, but it’s doubtful that will hold the man or the song back much. Chesney’s new album, ‘Life on a Rock,’ will be in stores April 30.

3 Stars

Listen to Kenny Chesney, ‘Pirate Flag’

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Next: See Kenny Chesney Without His Famous Hat

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