Single Review: Kenny Chesney with Grace Potter – “Wild Child”

Kenny Chesney Wild Child

Written by Kenny Chesney, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne

The last time Kenny Chesney paired with Grace Potter the result was one of the best songs of the former’s career with 2011’s You and Tequila. Once again the pairing take on a song that’s subdued without lacking energy and showcases the voices of both. Chesney has always been at his best when his stadium rock tendencies take a back seat to more plaintive material and this is no exception.

No one is ever going to accuse Chesney of having a great voice like Blake Shelton or David Nail, but he’s aware of his limitations and works within them to remain melodic without straining. His voice meshes seamlessly with Potter, whose presence can’t help but elevate a song in much the same way that Emmylou Harris does.

Lyrically, the song continues the recent turn against bro country, with Chesney himself telling Billboard:

“Over the last several years, it seems like anytime anybody sings about a woman, she’s in cutoff jeans, drinking and on a tailgate — they objectify the hell out of them! […] But I’m at a point where I want to say something different about women”.

There’s not exactly any new ground being tread with the description of a free-spirited young woman who inevitably gets referred to in terms like “rebel soul” and “gypsy”. But despite the middling lyrics, the vocal and stripped down production help make the three minutes breezy and enjoyable, if not terribly memorable.

While there are few big names whose quality of singles are as maddeningly inconsistent as Chesney’s, it’s always nice to hear from Good Kenny again.

Grade: B

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