Kenny Chesney has performed some of the most unabashedly white-bread, defanged, middle-of-the-road pop music ever crafted. While his breakthrough album, 2004's When the Sun Goes Down, may be soma for the undiscerning masses, the guy accomplished what he set out to do and never looked back. In a career more distinguished by hit singles than artistic achievement, Chesney at least comes off as earnest, with subject matter that perfectly reflects the kind of humdrum, uninspiring existence that many people prefer to a more bohemian lifestyle. Chesney's paid his dues in spades, playing restaurants and dive bars early on in his career. And now, with the impending release of his latest album, Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates, he's still out there playing like he actually wants people to enjoy his show. Purists may not consider the old boy country, but, by God, he's good enough for people who don't want to know better.
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