- Released: June 4, 1996
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
Personnel: Kenny Chesney (vocals, guitar); Don Potter (acoustic guitar); Brent Rowan (electric guitar); "Cowboy" Eddie Long, Paul Franklin (steel guitar); Joe Spivey (fiddle); Bobby Ogdin, Barry Beckett, Phil Naish (keyboards); Michael Rhodes (bass); Eddie Bayers (drums); Terry McMillan (percussion, harmonica); Mandy Barnett, Curtis "Mr. Harmony" Young, Dennis Wilson, John Wesley Ryles (background vocals).
Pricipally recorded at Masterfonics, Nashville, Tennessee.
Disdaining the power-ballad pop-rock style favored by many contemporary Nashville artists, this young cowpoke concentrates on straight-ahead, two-stepping honky-tonk numbers on his second album. Chesney has an earthy, unpretentious vocal style, and he likes to sing simple, direct songs. "Turn For The Worse" and "(Turn Out The Light And) Love Me Tonight" are powerful evidence of his way with a country footstomper, while the gentle, piano-based title track shows off his dynamic range. If you're a fan of artists like Lee Roy Parnell and Shawn Camp (both of whose compositions appear here), you're bound to appreciate the modern country sound of YOU AND ME.
With his second album, All I Need to Know, Kenny Chesney began to make inroads onto the charts, a position he consolidated on its 1996 successor, Me and You. While he bears no songwriting credits here, these 11 tracks showcase a more fully rounded Chesney, where the rockers pack more punch and the ballads don't seem quite as big and glossy. For instance, "When I Close My Eyes" is a great soft rock crossover, tuneful and easy but never forced and not dripping with sentiment. Not that he totally avoids sap here, either on the nostalgic hometown tune "Back Where I Come From" or the slow-dance title track, but he's developed into an old pro in spinning this corn convincingly, and when that new trait is balanced by the crackerjack country-rockers that dominate this album -- the opening one-two punch of "Back in My Arms Again" and "Ain't That Love," the superb "(Turn Out the Light And) Love Me Tonight" -- it makes this his most entertaining record to date. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine