Track Review: Kenny Chesney ft. P!nk, ‘Setting the World On Fire’
Kenny Chesney returns strong with pop superstar P!nk on duet, “Setting the World On Fire.” “World” successful balances country and pop sensibilities.
Aging musician meets younger, more relevant pop star. Why? It’s simple – an aim at retaining relevancy. In this case, the aging musician is country superstar Kenny Chesney, a veteran who is 48 years old. Chesney is still popular but doesn’t sell the way he used to. Bringing in P!nk for “Setting the World On Fire” is smart marketing. It doesn’t hurt that “Setting the World On Fire” is a success.
“Setting the World on Fire” begins with a countrified opening with the acoustic guitar. Though it embraces country music, it’s neutral enough to hang with pop – call it pop-neutral. Dashes of pedal steel ensure listeners knows that this is a country record, even given its pop sensibilities and pop guest star. Soundly produced, “Setting the World on Fire” is neither over- nor under- produced.
Chesney handles the verses but gets a lift from backing vocals by P!nk. A pre-chorus section finds Chesney and P!nk blending seamlessly. Rhythmic, the melodic line masterfully builds, leading into the chorus. P!nk’s big moment comes on the catchy chorus, where her powerful pipes are perfectly suited.
“Up all night and we were feelin’ so good / yeah. We got a little higher than we probably should / we were in a hotel singin’ in the hallway lights / we were strikin’ the matches right down the ashes / setting the world on fire, setting the world on fire”
The chorus does a superb job of splitting the difference between country and pop; there’s clear crossover sensibility. Though predictable, the instrumental interlude following the second iteration of the chorus is an excellent choice. The fine details really make this particular record shine.
All in all, “Setting the World on Fire” is a well-executed country/pop hit. The crossover appeal is tremendous. Well-written, featuring a catchy chorus, Kenny Chesney and his team made a smart choice to keep the aging country star relevant after all these years.
Kenny Chesney • ‘Setting the World On Fire’ – single • Blue Chair/Sony Nashville • Release: 7.29.16
Photo Credit: Blue Chair/Sony Nashville