Kenny Chesney (BNA)
Despite the carefree title of his sixth studio album, country heartthrob Kenny Chesney isn’t just kicking up his bare feet and flexing his pecs. A Nashville veteran at 34, he waxes philosophical on this surprisingly mature effort, which is entertaining though somewhat diffuse. On one tune, “The Good Stuff,” he imagines the joys of grandfatherhood (a bit of a stretch given that the single Chesney doesn’t even have any kids yet), while on another, “Young,” he expounds on the pleasures and excesses of youth. The singer, whose vocals are emphatic if unexceptional, also delivers an introspective rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s brooding 1987 ballad “One Step Up,” a none-too-romantic look at love. In an attempt to enliven the meditative mood, the drummers sometimes seem to be flailing away, but they needn’t have worried. As Chesney proves here, not every country song has to have a pickup truck in it.
Bottom Line: Thinking man’s country