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Kenny Chesney’s Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates  
By: Brianna Nightingale, CSO Staff Journalist

On Kenny Chesney’s 13th album, Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates, he sings about all the important, memorable moments in life, including that awkward morning when you wake up and you’re not quite sure who is laying next to you or how they got there. He sings about doing a job that you may not like but you know it pays the bills. A couple more songs on this album are just the opposite of that, describing the moment when you realize you are pleased with everything the way it is. Nothing could make you happier.

That should be the way Chesney feels about this 11-track album; he’s got everything going for him. Although he did not write any of the tracks it has already been proven that he picked at least two fan favorites.

Any day now, the second single from this album, “Don’t Blink,” is going to take over a top 10 spot, passing up “Never Wanted Nothing More.” It is a good one to put on repeat. No matter what happens daily, listening to the lyrics of this song will remind you to stop and be thankful for what you’ve been given.

Best start putting first things first 
Cause when your hourglass runs out of sand 
You can't flip over and start again 
Take every breath God gives you for what it's worth

All of the lyrics on Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates are truthful. In “Dancin’ for the Groceries” a mother gives herself up every day for the rent, the braces that her kids will need in order to have a perfect smile someday as well as the groceries because “it’s the price she has to pay.” Life isn’t always easy and this is another motivational song, about a mother who is an exotic dancer, to remind those who are dealing with tough, low-money situations that they aren’t alone.

“Wild Ride” starts out with an interesting Cowboy Troy sound but quickly mixes in the Island-Chesney sound. It’s a nice upbeat song thrown in between two slower, more touching pieces.

“Scare Me” is another one about a situation that changes life forever. Things won’t ever be the same. “It’s honest and truthful about how “on edge” you feel,” Chesney said. “Like a lot of these songs, we’ve all been there.”

“Got a Little Crazy” is an entertaining tune with amusing lyrics. Once again it has that steel drum, on-the-beach-drinking-rum sound to it.

Although this 39-year-old idol knows it would be nearly impossible to settle down and hold a marriage, a part of him would ideally enjoy the situation described in a tune with great piano, “Wife and Kids.” In a radio interview, Chesney agreed that this song is somewhat true of his own life. He also said something that will plant a little seed of hope in his fans’ hearts. He can almost guarantee that people will never hear that there is a conference being held because Chesney is retiring from his music career. He then said “I will always have music in me.”

It just wouldn’t be a Kenny Chesney album without mentioning water, bare feet and beach towels. “Just Not Today” is for those who get to the point in life where they “have to show some maturity, responsibility.”

One of these days, we’re gonna have to grow up 
have to get real jobs and be adult some day, just not today 
have to worry about things out of our control 
like kids, love and money and gettin' old someday, just not today 

The last song on this album, “Demons,” is what Chesney called a “Hell of a country song,” which describes a road full of struggles. The slow melody of light guitar and piano in this song makes it believable. These lyrics support the preceding tunes, saying that although we don’t need everything, what we have is not always enough.

Lucky number 13 is just as good, if not better, than the past 12 albums Chesney has released. Full of great lyrics, melodies and passion, Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates really does seem to tell about Chesney’s life as well as the lives of his fans. There really is something for everyone on this album.


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