Review: Chesney mixes it up in '...Fishbowl'

Associated Press Published: June 18, 2012
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Kenny Chesney, "Welcome to the Fishbowl" (Columbia Nashville)

He's a four-time Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year with more than 30 No. 1 country hits and a perennially popular road show, but don't try to pigeon-hole Kenny Chesney.

His 13th studio album features a little bit of every style — from ballads to boot-stompers to a song about a father with Alzheimer's.

The first single, "Feel Like a Rock Star," is a duet with Tim McGraw destined to bring down the house every time they play it together on tour this summer.

But for every party anthem there's a melancholy tune.

"I'm gonna cry right now and that's OK/We're all gonna die someday," sings Chesney in "Sing 'Em Good My Friend," a weeper about a woman in the hospital who was once the muse for a guy with a guitar.

The result feels like an uneven album, but in a world where the money is made on singles and tours, fans probably won't care.

Just as they start to cry in their beer, they'll sing along with these lines from "Time Flies": "Talkin' to a cutie/headin' for the booty/The riptides rippin', the sunset's dippin'/Smile that smile, you'll be sayin'."

CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: The title track features Chesney rapping at the end as he contemplates the perils of success and everyone living their lives in the public eye.