By Grady Smith
June 14, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT
Danny Clinch

Welcome To The Fishbowl

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Someone get Kenny Chesney back to his beachside hammock and reconnect his piña colada IV, stat! Lately the sun-loving country titan has been more inclined to take moody nighttime strolls along the shore, and if his 13th album is any indication, the guy’s got a lot to feel down about. ”I don’t think I can take this bed getting any colder,” he laments on aching opener ”Come Over.” And on the Alzheimer’s tale ”While He Still Knows Who I Am,” a son watches as his father fades away. Chesney’s albums have always been considerably more wistful than his radio persona, but Welcome to the Fishbowl‘s tunes, while well wrought, can be downright dour. The tonal shift is fine — the problem is that these weepies often come off less like authentic autobiography than downbeat Nashville role-playing. (The too-sleek production and ponderous, stretched-out tempos don’t help.) On the title track, a playful Internet-era rebuke, he muses, ”Everybody’s business is everybody’s business,” but Fishbowl reveals less about the star’s true interior life than ever. B?

Welcome To The Fishbowl

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