Grade • C
CD • Kenny Chesney turned 44 in March, and his new album "Welcome to the Fishbowl," out Tuesday, continues the mature, soul-searching approach that was so eye-opening on his last album, 2010's "Hemingway's Whiskey."
The song "While He Stills Knows Who I Am," about a parent with Alzheimer's, reveals his rarely exhibited emotional side, while the album is packed with ballads like "Sing 'Em Good My Friend," "Always Gonna Be You," and "El Cerrito Place."
But those latter, too-slick and forgettable ballads weigh down the album musically in which the up-tempo numbers "Time Flies" and "Feel Like a Rock Star" (with tour mate Tim McGraw) are welcome breathers amid so much, well, dullness. "Come Over" is a comparably uninspiring song when you think of Lady Antebellum's better "Need You Now," and the title track offers a bland, unoriginal take on reality-TV.
But at least Chesney's unmistakable voice and confidence are still there.
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