‘Pirate Flag’ by Kenny Chesney Provides Intrigue For The Album – Single & Video Review

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There has been much hype around this song, claiming it will
begin Kenny’s move to a different terrain musically, and that the album will
follow that. However, when I first listened to the track, I find it a bit odd
and confusing.

The track begins with a quiet, unobtrusive organ melody, and
I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s made the mistake of trying to turn it up to
full volume due to this. Handclaps and a nicely strummed mandolin jump in, and
it sounds quite nice, quite sweet. At this point I was totally thrown off base
by a subtle key change in the music that happens mere milliseconds before Kenny
comes in with the vocals, that are in line with this sudden key change, in a
kind of pitched melodic rapping. To add to the confusion, the sweetness of the
instruments already in the mix are added to by a heavier drum beat and some
snappy muted distorted guitar, just hitting the bassier strings. The two ends
of the sonic spectrum clashing plus this rapping in a key that to me doesn’t
automatically fit with the key of the music, makes it rather a melting pot. The
heavier guitar part becomes more prominent as the song progresses, and then we
have its saving grace: the chorus.

The chorus launches in full pelt with the kind of country
rock from Kenny that we’re more used to hearing and the melody and key parts
that originally confused me begin to make a lot more sense. The chorus links
the whole song together and without it I’m not sure it would work, as after
that the second verse etc feels a lot easier on my ears. I can see Kenny’s
trying to go for something different and off-base as country music does tend to
stick to the familiar, traditional keys and melodies. Perhaps that’s why it
feels a little uncomfortable to me – I’m so used to hearing what I’m expecting
and what is ‘familiar’, that anything different sets me on edge. I think this
one is a grower, and definitely the more I hear it the more I get used to it.

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Hunter Hayes’ ‘Somebody’s Heartbreak’ Is First Live Video – Review

Hunter

This is a bit late, I know. Not my fault this time.

Hunter Hayes has had a pretty good year. His second single
off his self-titled debut album on a major record label, ‘Wanted’, has so far
garnered sales of nearly 2 million, he won a CMA for Best New Artist, and he’s
just been nominated for a Grammy for Best New Artist also. So maybe his record
label thought it would be a good idea to release the video for his new single,
‘Somebody’s Heartbreak’ as a live video. Oh dear.

Live videos have always been a feature of music videos in
all genres, as they’re cheap, easy and show the act’s live prowess, often a
‘test’ of true artist authenticity, depending on the genre of course. Generally
within modern country music they feature as the video for the last single from
an album, for successful acts that’s usually fourth or fifth, as with Taylor
Swift, etc.

However, this is only Hunter’s third single from this album,
and with ‘Wanted’ being such a big hit, it almost feels like his second.
Certainly I think this was far too early in the album cycle and his career to
consider a live video. He is a big artist and therefore will no doubt have
about five singles, so this feels a little weird in his cinematic progress.
Live videos are meant to say “I had all these songs out, they did really well,
now look at my amazing tour and how good I am doing it all live, people are
lapping this stuff up”. Perhaps I’m a little cynical. But I feel like I want
more new visual material from someone like Hunter before I get him trying to
prove his prowess in the live field. Perhaps his record company are trying to
promote him as a live act, perhaps they are selling less tickets than expected.
However, I find that hard to believe, as he is supporting Carrie Underwood, who
is kind of a little bit popular.

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