Kenny Chesney’s new album is more personal, but with the same old theme

Heather Mangan

Heather Mangan

Kenny Chesney is known for his drinking and tropical island songs, but in his newest album, Be As You Are: Songs From an Old Blue Chair, he allows listeners to take a deeper, more personal look at one of country’s biggest stars.

The album is deemed as “Kenny Chesney’s most personal album to date” and it truly is. This more relaxed album is Chesney’s thoughts in a musical form. It’s obvious that these songs came straight from Chesney’s heart and experiences.

The title track, “Be As You Are” talks about escaping to the Caribbean where he can play his guitar and just be himself. Although I have never met Chesney and probably never will, this song is how I imagine him to be: simple man who wants to sit on the beach and play his guitar. This song allows Chesney to tell people that he is not some big-shot celebrity, but a regular guy who enjoys the finer things in life.

Not all of the songs on this album are new. “Old Blue Chair” was originally released on Chesney’s 2003 When the Sun Goes Down album. The song was re-released on this album as well as an “Ocean Mix” of the song. In “Old Blue Chair,” Chesney talks about his favorite chair that has been with him through the good and bad times. He says that he has learned a lot about life and whom he is from while sitting in that chair. This song is beautiful because it reminds us to look at the simple things in life and to enjoy them while you can. It also uses personal feeling and experiences that make it truly unique.

The album’s downfall is that many of his songs are centered around Chesney’s famous tropical theme. He has used the idea of drunken nights on the beach before and continues to do so in this album, such as in the song “Guitars and Tiki Bars.” Like many of Chesney’s songs, “Guitars and Tiki Bars” is about a man just wanting to get away from the strain of a fast-paced world and sit on the beach and drink margaritas all day. Although the song is catchy, Chesney has already overused the get-drunk-on-the-beach idea and this song just makes it worse.

Although this album is very tropical islandish, it is still very personal because Chesney lives in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Many of Chesney’s fans probably won’t relate to his life on the beach, but it still takes a lot of guts to write and publicize your deepest feelings. And his songs do help listeners escape to that tropical island when they can’t be there in real life.

Four out of five stars