An emotionally scarred Vietnam vet gains comfort from fond memories of a simpler time (“Live Those Songs”). A singer’s perseverance pays off on “Big Star.” “Dreams” tells of a two-time divorcée who learned the hard way that a true “white horse prince” is a dependable man of common sense who is kind, brave, caring and in love for the long haul. After a lover’s quarrel, the singer visits a bar and asks for “The Good Stuff,” only to get a lesson from the widowed barkeep (as the two drink milk) about the really “good stuff” in life, namely the time we share with loved ones. That two-hanky tune also gives a nod to sobriety and ending spats with mutual apologies. Despite having impregnated his girlfriend, a young man takes full responsibility and finds fatherhood rewarding (“Never Gonna Feel That Way Again”). On the reflective “A Lot of Things Different,” Chesney wishes he’d attended church, spent more time with Dad, and told his brother he loved him. But . . .
Less noble regrets include passing up the chance to go skinny-dipping with an old girlfriend. The title cut finds the artist longing for “a drink in my hand with no bottom.” He drowns his sorrows at a bar on “One Step Up.” “Young” reminisces fondly about adolescent rebelliousness (cutting class, scoring beer, sexual conquests, etc.).
Some excellent messages here. Too bad Chesney moseys into alcohol use and winks at sexual experimentation as just part of growing up. Disappointing.