Music Review: Kenny Chesney CD - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Music Review: Kenny Chesney CD

(AP) Kenny Chesney, "Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates" (BNA)

Kenny Chesney still likes to have a good time, usually with an ocean breeze at his back and a tropical drink in hand. But he continues to strive to balance out the partying with introspective songs filled with personal revelations and sharply drawn character sketches.

On this album, the reigning Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year emphasizes the sensitive poet as much as the beachcombing pirate. As successful as he's been with sunny celebrations, he's not about to stop enjoying himself, as he does on the party-hearty "Got a Little Crazy" and on the sexual innuendo of "Wild Ride," which features Joe Walsh on guitar.

In the album's other duet, George Strait joins Chesney on the sweetly funky "Shiftwork," a comical ode to blue-collar jobs.

But where Chesney shows the most growth is in the increasingly textured production of his ballads - and in the personal revelations they contain.

In his first studio album recorded after his brief marriage to actress Renee Zellweger, Chesney opens his heart in tunes like "Wife and Kids," about a successful guy who has everything except what he wants most, and the beautiful yet chilling "Demons," about vices that are hard to put down.

The most heartbreaking song is also the album's strongest: In "Better as a Memory," Chesney casts a melancholy spell as he says goodbye to a lover and accepts that he's not the man for her.

CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: On "Dancin' for the Groceries" Chesney offers what may be the most sensitive song ever about a stripper.

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