Nick Marino
January 24, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Kenny Chesney has borrowed Jimmy Buffett’s subject matter for years, and now it looks like he’s after Norah Jones’ tempos. The country hunk’s ultra-mellow new record Be as You Are makes beach living seem like one long hammock nap. Problem is, his sun-baked characters — the Boston transplant, the wistful barmaid, and especially the earnest narrator — are too lazy to be interesting. Bummer. Chesney deserves props for straying from Nashville conservatism, but he’s still a long way from ”Margaritaville.”

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