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When the Sun Goes Down [Bonus Tracks]
     

When the Sun Goes Down [Bonus Tracks]

by Kenny Chesney
 

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Judging by the no-shirt-no-shoes-no-problem poses he strikes in the booklet accompanying this album, Kenny Chesney is living large these days. Quadruple platinum will do that for you. The blend of tropicalia and contemporary country-rock that pushed his previous studio album into the ether fuels this outing as well, although unlike No Shoes

Overview

Judging by the no-shirt-no-shoes-no-problem poses he strikes in the booklet accompanying this album, Kenny Chesney is living large these days. Quadruple platinum will do that for you. The blend of tropicalia and contemporary country-rock that pushed his previous studio album into the ether fuels this outing as well, although unlike No Shoes, a number of songs here (some penned by Chesney) find him waxing nostalgic for the carefree years of yore. These range from "I Go Back," a jittery treatise concerning the transportive qualities of a beloved song, to "Keg in the Closet," a driving homage to rambunctious college years. On the hedonistic side, the burbling island ambiance of the swaying Uncle Kracker duet "When the Sun Goes Down" forms the backdrop for a paean to the pleasures of nightlife. Even so, there's plenty of evidence that Chesney's conscience isn't fallow. On "The Woman with You," Chesney advocates happiness at home and acceptance of one's natural self as the most desirable path, over wailing '80s guitar riffs and sweet harmonies, while on the pounding, insistent "Some People Change," he espouses a belief in love as a cure-all for bigotry, addiction, and other debilitating conditions. Despite its title, "Being Drunk's a Lot like Loving You" is a nice, lilting love song, informed by a bit of honky-tonk in its swirling pedal steel lines and tinkling piano punctuations. After this, Chesney can probably buy that beach he's lounging on.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Kenny Chesney's stardom snuck up quietly. He had a string of modest successes during the late '90s, but he never made crossover waves until 2002's No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems, when his steady touring and steady shift toward adult pop paid off with his first number one album, but that was nothing compared to the stunning first-week sales of its successor, When the Sun Goes Down, which also debuted at number one to the very healthy sales of over 550,000. Chesney had clearly filled a void, one left by the diminished presence of Garth Brooks -- a singer who blurred the lines between '70s mainstream pop
ock and contemporary country, a singer who made adult-oriented music about everyday things. At one point Chesney was aligned with neo-traditionalist country singers, but by When the Sun Goes Down, he had left that far behind, using country as mere flavoring on an album whose heart and soul is firmly within the tradition of '70s singer/songwriters. Where Garth Brooks merely covered Billy Joel (and a latter-day tune at that), Chesney drops references to Joel, James Taylor, and Steve Miller, while covering Dave Loggins' "Please Come to Boston." So, it's not an entire surprise that he favors ballads, usually the anthemic type designed to fill out arenas, and when he does turn the tempo up, it's still laid-back, in the fashion of Jimmy Buffett, as on the appealing duet with Uncle Kracker on the title track. Chesney often refers to living in the Islands (the Caribbean Islands, that is) in his nice song-by-song liner notes and every one of the many pictures in the disc's booklet features him on an island, but this is hardly a tropical album -- it's a record for middle America, for soccer moms and sentimental NASCAR dads, for those who opted out of the corporate rat race in favor of a loving relationship, as the character in "The Woman With You" did. It's for a generation raised on rock but living on country, people who like to reminiscence but are perfectly happy in their domestic life. If this sounds condescending, it's not meant that way; it's an apt description of an album that captures a time, place, and mindset, the way Sgt. Pepper provided the soundtrack to the Summer of Love. Peppered with references to Abercrombie & Fitch, American Express, dogs named Bocephus, old frat brothers, and forgotten sorority sisters, all set to a canny blend of state-of-the-art country, '70s sensibility, and '80s production (check out muted delayed rhythm guitar on "I Go Back"), it's a thoroughly modern mature-pop album. Like Shania Twain's Come On Over or Up!, this is music that's meant to have universal appeal, but it's far subtler in its approach, not least because it's delivered not by a diva, but a humble guy with a likeable, friendly voice. It may not be country, but that doesn't matter; When the Sun Goes Down is winning, sturdy mainstream pop, and after hearing it, it's easy to see why so many listeners now take Chesney to heart -- he's writing the soundtrack to their lives.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/03/2004
Label:
Bna Entertainment
UPC:
0828765880121
catalogNumber:
58801

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kenny Chesney   Primary Artist
John Jorgenson   Electric Guitar
Gary Prim   Synthesizer,Piano,Wurlitzer
Eddie Bayers   Drums
Pat Buchanan   Harmonica,Electric Guitar
Melonie Cannon   Background Vocals
J.T. Corenflos   Electric Guitar
Chad Cromwell   Drums
Dan Dugmore   Steel Guitar
Sonny Garrish   Steel Guitar
Rob Hajacos   Fiddle
Tim Hensley   Banjo,Background Vocals
John Hobbs   Piano,Hammond Organ
Dann Huff   Electric Guitar
Paul Leim   Percussion,Drums,Tambourine,Finger Snapping
B. James Lowry   Acoustic Guitar,Bottleneck Guitar,Guitar (Nylon String)
Randy McCormick   Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ
Steve Nathan   Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer
Larry Paxton   Bass
Tom Roady   Percussion,Steel Drums
John Willis   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Guitar (Nylon String)
Neil Thrasher   Background Vocals
Wes Hightower   Background Vocals
Scotty Sanders   Steel Guitar
Uncle Kracker   Background Vocals
Wyatt Beard   Background Vocals
Mat Britain   Percussion,Steel Drums
Clayton Mitchell   Electric Guitar
Sean Paddock   Percussion

Technical Credits

Skip Ewing   Composer
Paul Overstreet   Composer
Dave Loggins   Composer
Buddy Cannon   Producer
Kenny Chesney   Composer,Producer
Josh Leo   Composer
Billy Sherrill   Engineer
Craig Wiseman   Composer
Neil Thrasher   Composer
Brett James   Composer
Rory Lee   Composer
S. Wade Hunt   Art Direction
Wendell Mobley   Composer
Tony Castle   Engineer
Tom Damphier   Composer
David Lowe   Composer
Bill Luther   Composer
Jason Sellers   Composer
Michael Dulaney   Composer
David Frasier   Composer
Tim Johnson   Composer
Chris Bain   Composer
Scooter Carusoe   Composer

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