Kenny Chesney has developed into one of country's brightest young stars via force of a fun-loving personality, earnest delivery, and a dead-on ear for top-notch material.

Kenny Chesney has developed into one of country's brightest young stars via force of a fun-loving personality, earnest delivery, and a dead-on ear for top-notch material. He brings such skills to a head on No Shoes, perhaps his most important record to date. Indeed, the album finds the artist tapping into familiar themes on such well-written, radio-ready cuts as "Big Star" and a hit-primed cover of Bruce Springsteen's "One Step Up." "A Lot of Things Different" and "I Remember" are endearing, well-rendered ballads, and Chesney's skill as an interpreter drives such everyman observations as "Never Gonna Feel That Way Again." The title cut maintains a likable Jimmy Buffett vibe, and "Live Those Songs" thuds with Southern rock attitude.—RW