you have to do to understand why Kenny Chesney was the Country
Music Association Entertainer of the Year, and is the
reigning Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year, is
toss this CD in your player. Give a good listen; life has tossed
him about this past year and what you hear on this album is a
more thoughtful, insightful, more mature Chesney. Uncle Kracker
went back to the islands without him (at least for now) and,
still smarting from the emotional bruises of the past several
months, he isn't running off to a beach to recuperate. Instead,
he is doing what any true blue country artist worth his salt
would do, he's gathered up eleven songs that most closely
reflect what he's feeling about life, and put them on a CD
that's certain to have the fans, radio, the CMA and ACM adding
on kudos for quite some time.
bio says, "With The Road and The Radio, the
singer/songwriter from Luttrell, Tennessee raises the stakes on
both the intensity of his straight-up-the-middle power-country
and deepening sense of introspection." Loosely translated,
this means the cowboy was thrown from the bronc before the eight
second mark. But, have no fear country music fans, this is where
champions are made and number one hits are born. Speaking of
number one hits, there are several potential chart toppers on The
Road and the Radio; probably more on this album than any
previous one. The title track sets the pace and reflects the
mood of several of the more bittersweet ballads but there are
plenty of boot-scooters to keep your spirits up.
the "Cut by Cut", Chesney says he relates to
"Living In Fast Forward," written by David Lee Murphy
and Rivers Rutherford, "Funny thing about momentum: the
more you get, the farther and faster it takes you and the harder
it gets to slow down and take a moment to really reflect on whatís
just happened." Right on the heels of that astute
observation comes the very thought provoking, "Who You'd Be
only cut on this album written solely by Chesney is "Beer
in Mexico." The up-tempo, drum driven, instrumentals
totally contradict the depth of the lyrics. Misery and
indecision have never sounded so palatable before and
"Freedom" is another cut where the tempo belies the
message. I guess the same could be said of "Tequila Loves
Me." Chesney says he recorded this song quite some time ago
and he is happy to have finally found a place for it; me too, I
loved this track.
was really a challenge to try to pick a favorite track on this
album but if I had to pick one, I think it might be
"You Save Me." The vocals and the instrumentals on
this track have an interesting rhythm and they are beyond
splendid. Chesney says, about this song, "I donít know
anyone who doesnít need this person - whether they know it or
not. Funny too, most of us have them whether we recognize them
or not. Iím surrounded by these kinds of people, whether I
wanted them to save me or not." Whew, talk about
says that the final cut on the album, "Like Me," is
his favorite song on the album because, "Through all my
years of touring and even all my years of dreaming, Iíve met
many characters just like the ones painted in this song. Weíre
talking about people who were not afraid to dream and dream big.
These are people who take life as it comes and still live it to
the fullest, no matter where they are or what theyíre doing.
And whether they make it or not, give that dream everything and
donít look back."
to faces I have seen / A carnival of those who dream / Dreaming
big and living free like me."
the fact that he states in the liner notes that he hopes the
fans like his "new music," I think the bulk of his
fans are going to hear the same thing I hear on this album. This
isn't really new music, this is the kind of music that
made us fans of Kenny Chesney in the first place and sent
"When the Sun Goes Down", "No Shoes, No Shirt, No
Problems" and "Greatest Hits" beyond quadruple
poetically sums it all up on the liner notes when he says about
"The Road and the Radio," which he co-wrote with Casey
Beathard, "No matter what has gone on in my life, there
have been two constant things over the past twelve years and
that's been the road and the radio. No matter what it was one of
them had the answer, whether it was a long stretch of highway or
a great song. And as crazy as my life's gotten, this is the one
place where it's still the same ... the broken lines and the
truth I find in songs."
think for all of us, at one time or another, it comes down to The
Road and The Radio; for me, more often than not, it's just
the radio and great songs like these.
from "Like Me".