Hemingway’s Whiskey, Kenny Chesney’s first album in two years finds him slinging his usual mix of country beachcomber anthems and sensitive reminiscence. We’ll ignore curiously inert first single ”The Boys of Fall,” because he’s also garnished the album with standouts: ”You and Tequila” is a wonderfully sung duet with Grace Potter, and ”Somewhere With You” has a compellingly dark vibe Chesney should try out more often. Between parties, of course.
Good times have sunk into the marrow of Kenny Chesney’s bones, slowing down his metabolism, making him unlikely to kick up his tempos or turn up his amplifiers. Age slows you down but so do too many afternoons on the beach Chesney continues to romanticize, although not quite so much on 2010’s Hemingway’s Whiskey as he did on his last decade of records. Unlike its immediate predecessor, 2008’s Lucky Old Sun, Hemingway’s Whiskey isn’t simply lazy: it’s slow but it’s burnished and classy, not quite as literary as the Guy Clark title track might initially indicate, but surely handsome, its seamless weaving of guitars being the aural equivalent of high thread count sheets.