Be As You Are: Songs From an Old Blue Chair

Kenny Chesney has copped Jimmy Buffett licks here and there for quite a while to great success.

Kenny Chesney has copped Jimmy Buffett licks here and there for quite a while to great success. Here, though, he admirably steps back from the million-dollar mainstream country formula to turn out an often quiet, introspective collection of self-penned tunes that still owe much to Buffett. The titles tell it all: "Island Boy," "Guitars and Tiki Bars," "Sherry's Living in Paradise." It's still an endearing set, from the gentle "Old Blue Chair" to the wistful "Somewhere in the Sun." "Something Sexy About the Rain" is an atmospheric torch song, while the devil-may-care "French Kissing Life" is delivered with a confident, laid-back flair. It goes without saying that the record is flawlessly produced, and after a remarkable decade of hits, Chesney has earned the right to make a Buffett record if he wants to.—RW