Kenny Chesney Brings The Party To His Shrink’s Office

noah | October 20, 2008 10:00 am

Our look at the closing lines of the biggest new-music reviews continues with a roundup of reactions to Lucky Old Sun, the new album by party-happy country singer Kenny Chensey, which comes out in non-deluxe form tomorrow:

• “Mr. Chesney, who tours constantly, questions his own striving in ‘The Life’ and in a plaintively introspective version of the pop standard ‘That Lucky Old Sun,’ a duet that hands Willie Nelson the verse about feeling ‘wrinkled and gray.’ Through the album, Mr. Chesney steers the songs toward half-smiles or at least a certain resigned acceptance, but he still sounds less complacent than ever. The question is whether, at 40, Mr. Chesney has lately decided that life doesn’t always have happy endings, or whether he’s just working too hard.” [NYT]

• “Chesney wrote or co-wrote most of the best songs, indicating that working through the weariness can be the best therapy.” [USA Today]

• “There’s no country-rock bravado, just gentle acoustic guitars, reassuring piano accents and occasional steel drums to add the requisite island flavor, soothing stuff you’d expect on a country version of ‘The Wave’ radio station. He counts his blessings (‘I’m Alive,’ ‘Everybody Wants to Go To Heaven’) and leans on friends, metaphorically and literally with guest spots from Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson and the Wailers, all of whom show up to help jump start the healing process. [LAT]

• “It remains to be seen whether recession-hit country fans will see a message about the healing powers of leisurely sailing as untimely.” [EW]