Road and the Radio

Road and the Radio

4.8 10
by Kenny Chesney
     
 

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Merriment and melancholy inform the well-crafted songs on what promises to be another Kenny Chesney juggernaut. Less nostalgic than 2004's When the Sun Goes Down, The Road and the Radio nonetheless finds Chesney striking a reflective pose in several songs, including the original title song, where he waxes rhapsodic aboutSee more details below

Overview

Merriment and melancholy inform the well-crafted songs on what promises to be another Kenny Chesney juggernaut. Less nostalgic than 2004's When the Sun Goes Down, The Road and the Radio nonetheless finds Chesney striking a reflective pose in several songs, including the original title song, where he waxes rhapsodic about the traveling life, the comfort of friends, and the "clarity and inspiration" he seeks from music and mobility. In "Living in Fast Forward," snarling '80s arena rock guitars fuel the anxious, but not altogether critical, musings on the furious pace of being a "hillbilly rock star out of control," Chesney wailing it like he knows it. Memories of faux rebellion and abiding, supportive values inform the reflections of "In a Small Town," a swirling, stomping ditty heavy on atmospherics supplied by congas and swelling accordion lines. Another highlight is the hard-driving, rock 'n' country track "Beer in Mexico," an upbeat, earnest query into the meaning of it all -- this life, that is -- that posits letting the answers come in time while popping another brew, anticipating enlightenment in due course. Tropicalia, Chesney's stock-in-trade in recent years, makes a suggestive appearance on the lilting beauty "Tequila Loves Me" (a holdover from the When the Sun Goes Down sessions), its steel drums and evocative accordion fills framing Chesney's fine, slightly bluesy vocal. Infectious and oftimes thoughtful, The Road and the Radio is a big-time winner.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/08/2005
Label:
Bna Entertainment
UPC:
0828767296029
catalogNumber:
72960

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kenny Chesney   Primary Artist
John Jorgenson   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Guitar (Baritone)
Jeff Bailey   Trumpet
Pat Buchanan   Electric Guitar
Buddy Cannon   Background Vocals
Melonie Cannon   Background Vocals
J.T. Corenflos   Electric Guitar
Dan Dugmore   Steel Guitar
Chris Dunn   Trombone
Kenny Greenberg   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Rob Hajacos   Fiddle
Tim Hensley   Banjo,Background Vocals
Steve Hinson   Steel Guitar
John Hobbs   Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
Jim Horn   Baritone Saxophone
Paul Leim   Percussion,Drums
B. James Lowry   Acoustic Guitar
Randy McCormick   Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer,Hammond B3
Steve Nathan   Synthesizer
Steve Patrick   Trumpet
Larry Paxton   Bass
Michael Rhodes   Bass
John Willis   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Guitar (Nylon String)
Wyatt Beard   Piano,Background Vocals
Samuel B. Levine   Tenor Saxophone
Samuel B. Levine   Tenor Saxophone
Mike Johnson   Steel Guitar

Technical Credits

Radney Foster   Composer
Derek Bason   Engineer
Buddy Cannon   Producer,Audio Production
Kenny Chesney   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,Audio Production
Steve Marcantonio   Engineer
John McElroy   Composer
Chris Rowe   Engineer
Billy Sherrill   Engineer
Craig Wiseman   Composer
David Lee Murphy   Composer
Brett James   Composer
Randy Rogers   Composer
Tony Castle   Engineer
Bill Luther   Composer
Aimee Mayo   Composer
Steve McEwan   Composer
Arnie Roman   Composer
Rivers Rutherford   Composer
Casey Beathard   Composer
Andrew Mendelson   Mastering
Troy Verges   Composer
Cory Mayo   Composer
Troy Jones   Composer
Tom Douglas   Composer
John Baldwin   Digital Editing

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