He's sold over 17 million records and is the biggest ticket seller in the genre this year. He's performed on Oprah. He's been awarded the ACM Male Vocalist of the Year award. With the release of Be As You Are,this is your chance to get to know Kenny Chesney as you've never heard him before.
Kenny Chesney may work the Jimmy Buffett
mojo a little too hard on his CMA Award-winning album, When the Sun Goes Down
. But he comes by it naturally, having vacationed at Myrtle Beach as a child and today owning a home in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Now comes his all-out island salute, Be As You Are (Songs from an Old Blue Chair)
, which surprises only in its concentration on the restorative vibe of beachfront life rather than the bikinis and rum-soaked nights. Intimate and subdued, the album gets mandatorily frolicsome on "Guitars and Tiki Bars." But mostly it's a reflective look at the people, places, and passion that make up his south-of-the-equator equation. There are lovely moments here--the cocktail swirl of "Magic," the quiet eroticism of "Something Sexy in the Rain," and the faraway ache of "Somewhere in the Sun." Trouble is, Chesney, who wrote or cowrote all 13 tracks, ended up with enough material for only half a record, and then repeated many of his ideas (particularly the singling out of the émigrés who came to the islands to become whole again) to fill out the album. Add that shortcoming to the mellow sameness that prevails, and Be As You Are
becomes less an album for that old blue chair than one for the hammock. --Alanna Nash
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