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Country - Released September 26, 2000 | BNA Records Label

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Country - Released April 2, 2002 | BNA Records Label

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Country - Released September 11, 2007 | BNA Records Label

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There's no denying that the title Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates, Kenny Chesney's tenth studio album, bears an undercurrent of autobiography, as if he's telling us exactly what he's all about. Given this, it would seem logical that this album would be built upon original songs -- especially since its title echoes Be as You Are (Songs from an Old Blue Chair), his intimate 2005 album of originals -- but Just Who I Am has not one original song, when even its 2005 predecessor, The Road and the Radio, had a pair, including the very good "Beer in Mexico." Just Who I Am might not come from Chesney's pen, but these songs nevertheless have the appearance of being autobiographical, as they dwell upon teenage nostalgia, bittersweet memories, and the importance of family because life speeds by faster than you'd think. All of this gives the impression that Chesney is living a comfortable, familiar middle-aged existence, surrounded by his wife and kids, appreciating what he's got but looking back on his life with a fond eye. This isn't quite true -- Chesney is leaving his thirties without a wife and kids, which makes the number of songs celebrating close family feel a little odd (even if the song "Wife and Kids" finds Kenny pining for this close-knit family), since these are not songs about who Chesney is; they're about who is audience is. This carries over to his breezy, steel-drum island songs -- particularly the George Strait duet "Shiftwork," a mellow workingman's anthem where George and Kenny playfully soften the F in the title, making for a genuinely funny highlight -- right down to the arena-filling ballads, such as "Dancin' for the Groceries," an instant camp classic where Kenny looks sympathetically at a single mom stripping to support her kids (a kindness undercut by hammy, clumsy lyrics, epitomized by "in sequins and laces/she's dancing for braces"). These mawkish sentiments are heavy-handed, as are the arrangements in the power ballads, which are just slightly too clean and commercial, produced with an eye on the middle of the road. This measured, polished production does mean that the ballads, of which there are just a bit too many, do blend together unless they tend to go a little over the top, whether it's the seize-the-day sentiment of "Don't Blink" or that stripper-mom salute. Fortunately, then, Chesney does spend some time creating party songs for the islands, songs that may be just as calculated as the power ballads but at least are livelier, which make them more immediate and more lasting than the ballads, whether it's the cheerful morning-after memories of "Got a Little Crazy," a ridiculous Joe Walsh-driven version of Dwight Yoakam's rocker "Wild Ride," or "Shiftwork." That's not a whole lot of good times for an 11-track album, but when paired with the couple of light, midtempo cuts that have a little more snap -- such as the opener, "Never Wanted Nothing More" -- it does mean that Just Who I Am just manages from sinking into adult contemporary murk, even if it's hard to shake the feeling that Chesney is spending too much time acting how his audience expects him to be instead of just being who he is. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released January 22, 2004 | BNA Records Label

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Country - Released November 6, 2005 | BNA Records Label

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The Road and the Radio arrives at the end of a busy 2005 for Kenny Chesney. As the year opened, he followed up his 2004 blockbuster When the Sun Goes Down with the mellow Be as You Are. A few months later, he married movie star Renee Zellweger, and four months after that, she filed for divorce. Two months after that, Chesney returned with The Road and the Radio, the big, splashy proper follow-up to When the Sun Goes Down. Given such a tight, hectic schedule, it shouldn't come as a great surprise that The Road and the Radio sounds rushed, as if Chesney didn't have the chance to properly decide the right course for this album. He certainly didn't have the chance to write much -- only two of the songs here bear his credit, compared to the all-original Be as You Are and When the Sun Goes Down, which had four original compositions. Since Chesney has always demonstrated a good ear for material, this isn't a great detriment; he picks good tunes here, highlighted by the wry, lazily rocking "Living in Fast Forward." But the haphazard nature of The Road and the Radio means not only does the record fail to gel, but that its rough edges are particularly noticeable. "Rough" isn't quite the right word, though, since one thing this album is not is rough: it's a smooth, polished, commercial effort, heavy on anthemic choruses and bright surfaces. In other words, this is the poppiest that Kenny Chesney has ever sounded, from how the atmospheric keyboards on the opening title cut recall U2 to how "Summertime" is driven by a gurgling talk box guitar. This in itself wouldn't be a big problem -- it's been a long time since Chesney has pretended to be straight country, and he's very good at country-pop -- but the problem with The Road and the Radio is that the songs just aren't very memorable. The record is surely pleasant, but apart from the aforementioned cuts, plus the easy-listening Springsteen/Mellencamp tribute "In a Small Town" and the party-hearty "Beer in Mexico," the songs themselves don't rise above background music. And while that's enough to make it an enjoyable enough listen, it's also enough to break the hot streak he began with 2002's No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released February 2, 2004 | BNA Records Label

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Country - Released September 28, 2010 | BNA Records Label

Good times have sunk into the marrow of Kenny Chesney’s bones, slowing down his metabolism, making him unlikely to kick up his tempos or turn up his amplifiers. Age slows you down but so do too many afternoons on the beach Chesney continues to romanticize, although not quite so much on 2010’s Hemingway’s Whiskey as he did on his last decade of records. Unlike its immediate predecessor, 2008’s Lucky Old Sun, Hemingway’s Whiskey isn’t simply lazy: it’s slow but it’s burnished and classy, not quite as literary as the Guy Clark title track might initially indicate, but surely handsome, its seamless weaving of guitars being the aural equivalent of high thread count sheets. By moving so slow, it seems assured the way only a work by a major star can, and if Chesney isn’t especially curious about expanding his horizons -- he doesn’t attempt anything new, he still dresses his Garth Brooks moves in guitars from U2, his history extends as far back as 1998, the year when George Jones originally recorded “Small Y’all” and he’s respectful enough to bring the Possum in for a duet -- he’s at least never sounds disinterested in his work. If anything, he’s a little too obsessive about his studio craft, polishing his hand-picked songs -- Chesney long ago ceding the writing spotlight to others, penning only one tune here, relying on such writers as Scotty Emerick, Deana Carter, Matraca Berg and David Lee Murphy -- so they all bear his same relaxed signature, winding up with an album that’s cohesive because it’s monochromatic. Then again, monochromatic can also be read as reliable, giving the people what they want and with Chesney, that’s an easy, relaxed good time…it’s just, now that he’s in his 40s, he makes records designed for a quiet weekend afternoon at home instead of a Friday night kegger. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released March 1, 2010 | BNA Records Label

Kenny Chesney had his first Greatest Hits at the dawn of the millennium, just as he was turning into the biggest country star in the U.S. He wound up dominating much of the decade with his easy, breezy Caribbean country, equal parts heartland rock and Jimmy Buffett beach music, and that domination is summarized on 2009's Greatest Hits II, a 15-track collection that contains only one new song in the opening "Out Last Night," an amiable day-after shuffle that doesn't rock like "Beer in Mexico" but is livelier than most cuts on the two albums that preceded this comp. Chesney's records from the last stretch of the decade were so suited for a lazy afternoon that they sometimes could border on listless, but this collection does a good job of disguising that sweet dullness, concentrating on the songs that made him a superstar: "Living in Fast Forward," "There Goes My Life," "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems," and his duet with Uncle Kracker, "When the Sun Goes Down." Some of his full albums were rewarding in their own right, but none of them quite captures all of his easy charms like this fine hits collection. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released February 26, 1999 | BNA Records Label

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Kenny Chesney's voice has always been a remarkable instrument, capable of a wide range of emotional expression, despite Chesney's subtle approach and laid-back delivery. On Everywhere We Go, however, this unique talent seems wasted on too many cookie-cutter ballads and country-rock numbers that don't even pretend to rock. Chesney is at his best on songs like "What I Need to Do," a Don Henley-like mid-tempo pop song. The song's quietly desperate, regular guy lyrics fit Chesney like a glove, and consequently make ridiculous country stud-muffin filler like "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" sound completely out of place. In its finest moments, this album recalls the work of Don Williams. Unfortunately, these moments are rare; unlike Williams, Chesney seems afraid to explore the darker areas of his psyche and is content to wallow in Hallmark card emotional territory. The musicianship on Everywhere We Go is superb (typical for Nashville studio cats), yet the players here -- like Chesney -- have little meat in which to sink their teeth and, thus, sound a bit sleepy. ~ Pemberton Roach
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Country - Released September 16, 2006 | BNA Records Label

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Country - Released October 4, 2003 | BNA Records Label

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Country - Released July 27, 2004 | BNA Records Label

On his 1994 debut album In My Wildest Dreams, Kenny Chesney was pretty much packaged and presented as a new Garth Brooks, complete with a big hat and a big production that had its eye on crossover but was still planted within the sound of new traditionalist. And this is indeed the most traditional that Kenny Chesney ever sounded, as he sings Keith Whitley's wry "I Want My Rib Back" and spends his time kicking out lean, hooky country-rockers like the title track, "Whatever It Takes," and "Somebody's Callin," or the swinging Texas barroom anthem "High and Dry." Even the ballads -- "The Tin Man," which he later revived, and "When She Calls Me Baby" -- aren't quite as shellacked with gloss as they would be just a year later, making them feel more country even if their heart is already in pop, something that can't quite be said for the rest of the album, which sounds and feels like a full-on new traditionalist country record. And it's very appealing too -- the album is sprightly, a giddy good time, and Chesney already shows signs of being a good writer. The only thing that doesn't quite feel right is Chesney's singing; his twang sounds a bit affected, as if he's trying too hard, which is odd since he'd later make a career out of casual, but that's something that can be discerned only in retrospect. Apart from that, this is a thoroughly appealing debut, although, to be honest, its heavy country vibe doesn't have all that much to do with what he did later. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released June 13, 1995 | BNA Records Label

Kenny Chesney's second full-length, All I Need to Know was his breakthrough record, the first to spawn country Top Ten singles, here in the form of the slow slick title track and the sprightly "Fall in Love," both of which go a long way toward illustrating how much more assured he sounds throughout the album. Chesney may sound more confident, but that sometimes can lead him down dark paths, such as the sticky sentiment of "Grandpa Told Me So." But by and large this is the first time that Chesney sounds like a genuine country star, whether he's easily negotiating the Western swing lilt of the excellent "The Bigger the Fool (The Harder the Fall)" or the rapid rhythms of "Someone Else's Hog," plus the good-natured boogie of "Paris, Tennessee." But the post-Garth punch of "Honey Would You Stand by Me," the slow yet cheerful blues of "Between Midnight and Daylight," and the skillful heartache ballad "The Tin Man" -- which deftly reworks a cliché -- really pointed the way to the future, capturing the blend of country instrumentation and anthemic pop that became his signature and made him a star. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released December 31, 1995 | BNA Records Label

Building upon the bright, cheerful punch of Me and You, Kenny Chesney widened his musical vision on his fourth album, 1997's I Will Stand. This is partially due to his own pen -- he has two songwriting credits here and none on the predecessor -- but it's more down to the music he's chosen to sing and the persona he conveys here. He's relaxed, friendly, and assured, never trying too hard, which gently draws listeners in on both his ballads and rockers -- and, what is turning increasingly into his specialty, the sunny midtempo tunes, equally suited for the beach or the bar. This is typified by the breezy "She Gets That Way" and the hazy '70s soft rock vibe of his co-written original "You Win, I Win, We Lose," and even the snappier songs (such as "She's Got It All" and "Steamy Windows") don't push too hard -- which is fine, because the slower songs don't get mired in sappy sentiment, as "That's Why I'm Here" makes clear. It never sounds like Chesney would belong to either the hillbilly heaven or honky tonk hell that he sings about on the purest country song here -- the one that also features verses by Tracy Lawrence and George Jones -- but that's the appeal of Kenny Chesney: he doesn't live in the past, but he doesn't disrespect it, either. He's merely in the present, trading upon modern sounds and the tunes that he grew up with, making contemporary country that feels country in how he mixes up country-rock, soft rock, and pop, and it's down so casually that it's easy to take for granted how good he is on this record, the first that really brought his star persona to the forefront. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released December 25, 2007 | BNA Records Label

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Country - Released January 1, 1990 | BNA Records Label

With his second album, All I Need to Know, Kenny Chesney began to make inroads onto the charts, a position he consolidated on its 1996 successor, Me and You. While he bears no songwriting credits here, these 11 tracks showcase a more fully rounded Chesney, where the rockers pack more punch and the ballads don't seem quite as big and glossy. For instance, "When I Close My Eyes" is a great soft rock crossover, tuneful and easy but never forced and not dripping with sentiment. Not that he totally avoids sap here, either on the nostalgic hometown tune "Back Where I Come From" or the slow-dance title track, but he's developed into an old pro in spinning this corn convincingly, and when that new trait is balanced by the crackerjack country-rockers that dominate this album -- the opening one-two punch of "Back in My Arms Again" and "Ain't That Love," the superb "(Turn Out the Light And) Love Me Tonight" -- it makes this his most entertaining record to date. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released September 12, 2011 | BNA Records Label