Welcome to the Fishbowl

 
Country star rocks hard but explores heavy emotions.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

"Feel Like a Rockstar," a duet with Tim McGraw, is a fun, country rocker that mentions drinking, and there other party songs on the record. However, most of the tunes are much more earnest, and explore some meaningful emotional subjects: true love ("To Get to You"), small-town America ("I'm a Small Town"), losing a loved one ("Sing Em Good My Friend"). One of the strongest songs is the heartbreaker "While He Still Knows Who I Am," about a man who wants to connect with his aging father and show how much he loves him while his dad is still present enough to understand. Overall, Fishbowl encourages listeners to explore meaningful emotional subjects in an honest way.

Positive role models

The persona that Kenny Chesney adopts here is a somewhat mixed bag, but more positive than not. For example, in "Time Flies" he recommends using a rum-soaked beach vacation to recover from heartbreak; whereas in "Sing Em Good My Friend" he is moved by an elderly man who's selling all of his possessions to pay his wife's medical bills. And in "While He Still Knows Who I Am" the singer wants to connect deeply with his aging father before his father loses his mental faculties. Overall, the most emotional, serious songs show real feeling that listeners can apply to their own relationships.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

In "Come Over," the singer mentions his bed being cold, and he wants his lover to come over even though their relationship is troubled. "Welcome to the Fishbowl" mentions tabloid pictures of cheating lovers, and stars who dream of having a "house in the hills, money, sex, boat, cars." "Time Flies" uses the words "booty" and "gettin' some." "Always Gonna Be You" says that even if the singer "lays down in some angel's arms," he's always going to love the woman in the song. Other romantic tunes mention dancing, kissing, and hand-holding.

 

Language

"Feel Like a Rockstar" includes the phrases "busted your ass" and "pimped up hangin' in the VIP." "Time Flies" has the word "booty." "You and Tequila" says "hell-bent on gettin' high."

Consumerism

In "While He Knows Who I am," the singer drives a Chevy because his father drove Chevys. "Feel Like a Rockstar" asks if you "put the juice in the goose / or the Coke in the Crown?"

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

"Feel Like a Rockstar" includes a series of questions, including "Do you smoke, do you drink?" and "Put the juice in the goose / or the Coke in the Crown [whisky]?" This song also makes a vague drug reference, asking whether you "leave it in the truck or sneak it in, in your boot?" "Time Flies" reinterprets an old saying to say "Time flies when you're having rum" and encourages the heartbroken person in the song to "keep sippin'." "You and Tequila" equates both the appeal and the ill effects of drinking tequila to a destructive relationship.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Welcome to the Fishbowl features a combination of uptempo country-rock tunes and heartfelt ballads. Besides offering a decent helping of love songs and party songs, the album explores some heavy topics. "Sing 'Em Good My Friend" tells about an elderly man who is selling all of his possessions to pay his dying wife's medical bills. "While He Still Knows Who I Am" shows a man about to visit his aging father, thinking how much he wants to connect and show his dad how he feels before his father declines too much to understand. Fishbowl mentions sex, "booty," and romance -- though nothing graphic -- and includes a couple mild curse words ("ass," "hell"). There's also alcohol consumption, particularly in the song "Time Flies" (as in "Time flies when you're having rum"), which recommends a rum-soaked beach vacation to heal a broken heart.

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What's the story?

On Kenny Chesney's 15th album, WELCOME TO THE FISHBOWL, the country singer explores a variety of subjects, from the price of fame (title track) to love relationships ("To Get to You") to aging parents ("While He Still Knows Who I Am").

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

With Welcome to the Fishbowl, Kenny Chesney continues to rise above typical country-pop fare. This album rocks harder and digs deeper than other country hits, managing to make listeners "Feel Like a Rockstar" without ever losing a real country feel. The album includes plenty of romantic ballads ("To Get to You," "Always Gonna Be You"), but also uses story songs to explore some surprising and heavy emotional subjects, such as an old woman's last illness ("Sing Em Good My Friend") and a son's love for his aging father ("While He Still Knows Who I Am"). Chesney has a deep, expressive voice and a knack for selecting honest, powerful material. This is a rich collection from one of country's biggest stars.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the songs "Come Over" and "You and Tequila," which describe characters that struggle between wanting someone and knowing that person is a bad risk. What do you do when you really like someone who doesn't treat you well?

  • What is the title song "Welcome to the Fishbowl" saying about celebrity? Would you like to be famous?

  • "While He Still Knows Who I Am" depicts a man who wants to let his elderly dad know how much loves him before his dad declines too much to understand. He says that this time he's going to hug his dad, and not just shake hands. Do you think a lot of boys have a hard time expressing love to their dads? How about you and your dad?

Music details

Artist:Kenny Chesney
Release date:June 19, 2012
Type:Album
Label:BNA Entertainment
Genre:Country
Topics:Cars and trucks
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

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