Be As You Are: Songs From an Old Blue Chair
On “Old Blue Chair” a man’s reflections while lounging on the beach include the desire to do right by a woman (“[I] prayed many times for forgiveness and a brand new start”). Despite an unattractive metaphor, Chesney tells fans to live with gusto on “French Kissing Life.” Numerous cuts want to escape the rat race of civilization. Sadly ...
Most of those Jimmy Buffett-style retreats to uncrowded sand and crystal-blue waters glamorize drugs and alcohol. Songs focus on a flirtatious barfly (“Boston”) and exalt bartenders who sling drinks down at the beach (“Sherry’s Living in Paradise”) or hang out with “dope-smokin’ friends” (“Island Boy”). Chesney downs lots of rum (“Somewhere in the Sun,” “Key Lime Pie,” “Old Blue Chair”). He also craves piña coladas (“Be As You Are”) and clubbing in general (“Guitars and Tiki Bars”). On “Something Sexy About the Rain” the singer fondly recalls sex amid sugarcane with a woman who loved him “for a season.” He ogles a bikini-clad girl on “Key Lime Pie” and misuses God’s name twice during “Somewhere in the Sun.”
Kenny Chesney’s mellow vocals and soft acoustic guitar are calming, but his tunes are merely a travelogue for an immoral island fantasy filled with intoxication and sex partners that come and go like the tide.