Be as You Are

Be as You Are

4.7 14
by Kenny Chesney
     
 

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Seriously mellowing out, Kenny Chesney offers up a tune stack that mostly comprises thoughtful, relaxed meditations on the good things he’s found in life, informed by the island sensibility he has co-opted from one Jimmy Buffett. An acoustic-based ode to the title’s old blue chair kicks off the proceedings, Chesney’s fingerpicking providing the backdrop for a… See more details below

Overview

Seriously mellowing out, Kenny Chesney offers up a tune stack that mostly comprises thoughtful, relaxed meditations on the good things he’s found in life, informed by the island sensibility he has co-opted from one Jimmy Buffett. An acoustic-based ode to the title’s old blue chair kicks off the proceedings, Chesney’s fingerpicking providing the backdrop for a catalogue of warm memories associated with the chair’s lifetime in the household (it’s a spiritual kin to an early Mary-Chapin Carpenter gem, "This Shirt"). The lure, and allure, of island life is beautifully evoked in the lilting "Somewhere in the Sun," all graceful rhythm and Hallmark-burnished sentiments extolling the languorous, stress-free pace of things down where our galaxy’s biggest star shines brightest. A gentle shuffle and the subtle cries of a pedal steel heighten a bittersweet memory of a still-vivid summer love, "Something Sexy About the Rain," a genuinely sensuous linking of the movements of the heart and the rhythms of the natural world. On a lighter, upbeat note, "Guitars and Tiki Bars," celebrates a carefree life enriched by "a whole lotta love" and emphasizes the point with a celebratory Caribbean rhythm replete with a burbling organ and the happy ping of steel drums; a funky little acoustic-keyed number, "Key Lime Pie," describes an idyllic world centered on an affection for the titular delicacy. "Magic" is the real treasure here. In a fine, pop-style crooner’s voice, Chesney enumerates the joys of the tropical life in a slow, bluesy arrangement for the wee small hours, its swaying rhythm marked by an intoxicating blend of steel drums, acoustic guitar, cabaret piano, and sexy alto sax punctuations. In repose, Kenny Chesney has found a most compelling voice and delivers an album that will endure long beyond the life of any radio hits.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Conventional wisdom dictates that the Caribbean Islands are where you go to relax, not work, but not for Kenny Chesney. The Tennessee native found his muse on the islands, and it changed his life and work. He started his career as a good, if unremarkable, neo-traditionalist singer, but he slowly built his own identity as a singer and songwriter, largely due to the time he spent in the islands, a love that he celebrated in his music and interviews. Not since Jimmy Buffett has a musician been so thoroughly identified with the life of a beach bum, but there is a big difference between the two. Buffett happily creates a soundtrack to a never-ending party, coasting a combination of good times and easy grooves and while Chesney certainly does indulge in this ingratiatingly lazy vibe, he also finds the islands as a place for introspection, and nowhere is that more evident than on his eighth album, 2005's Be as You Are (Songs from an Old Blue Chair). This is the companion piece to the breezy, bright modern country of 2004's When the Sun Goes Down, a relaxed, low-key collection of ballads and easy-rolling pop tunes that strikes precisely the right contemplative note, as if it were designed to be played during a picturesque ocean sunset. Which isn't to say that Be as You Are is a confessional album, or even a collection of overly introspective songs. There are autobiographical details threaded throughout the record, particularly on the opener, "Old Blue Chair," but the songs are open-ended, so listeners can identify with the narrator, or they're nice, mellow party tunes like "Key Lime Pie" or slow dance numbers like "Magic." It's a quiet record, but hardly an album that features Chesney alone with his guitar. Be as You Are is as polished and professional as When the Sun Goes Down, yet it's designed for quiet afternoons, not parties on the weekend. To Chesney's credit, he's as appealing on this set of relaxed tunes as he was on its gleaming, ultramodern predecessor, and taken together, they are strong proof that he's one of best singers and songwriters working in contemporary country music in the mid-2000s.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/25/2005
Label:
Bna Entertainment
UPC:
0828766153026
catalogNumber:
61530

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kenny Chesney   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
John Jorgenson   Electric Guitar
Eric Darken   Percussion
Pat Buchanan   Harmonica,Electric Guitar
Buddy Cannon   Background Vocals
J.T. Corenflos   Electric Guitar,Gut String Guitar,Guitar (Nylon String)
Chad Cromwell   Drums
Robert Greenidge   Steel Drums
Tim Hensley   Background Vocals
John Hobbs   Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
Jim Hoke   Tenor Saxophone,Penny Whistle
Jim Horn   Tenor Saxophone
Paul Leim   Percussion,Drums,Shaker
B. James Lowry   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Steel Guitar,Guitar (Nylon String)
Liana Manis   Background Vocals
Randy McCormick   Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer,Hammond B3
Larry Paxton   Bass,Electric Bass,Bass Guitar,Background Vocals,Fretless Bass Guitar
Tom Roady   Percussion,Tambourine
Tommy White   Dobro
John Willis   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Gut String Guitar,Guitar (Nylon String)
Quentin Ware   Trumpet
Steve Herman   Trumpet
Wyatt Beard   Background Vocals
Mat Britain   Steel Drums
Murray Cannon   Background Vocals
David Briggs   Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ
Amy Jo Stelzer   Vocals

Technical Credits

Bill Anderson   Composer
Skip Ewing   Composer
Derek Bason   Engineer
Buddy Cannon   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Kenny Chesney   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,Audio Production
Dean Dillon   Composer
Billy Sherrill   Engineer
Holly Gleason   Publicity
Tony Castle   Engineer
Scotty Emerick   Composer
Dan Tucker   Composer
Phil Vassar   Composer
Dale Morris   Management
Katherine Stratton   Art Direction
Andrew Mendelson   Mastering
Tim Holt   Composer
Clayton Mitchell   Composer
Tommy Figlio   Engineer
Clint Higham   Management
Amy Jo Stelzer   Introduction
Mark Tamburino   Composer,Introduction
John Baldwin   Digital Editing

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