Mark Chesnutt

I Don't Want to Miss a Thing – 1999 (Decca)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

CDs by Mark Chesnutt

It would be a shame if hit single and title track "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" provided an entree to Mark Chesnutt. The Diane Warren song in the hands of such an accomplished honky tonker like Chesnutt smacks of a stab at radio play.

Fortunately, there is a lot more to the disc than this. Chesnutt is getting mighty consistent, meaning he doesn't break any new ground, but at least the remaining songs often are of uniformly high quality. The focal point, as usual, is Chesnutt's strong, smooth sounding baritone ("Tonight I'll Let My Memory Take Me Home") with its on target phrasing sounding so effortless. In true Chesnutt honky tonk style, he employs good wordplay in "That's How You Make an X." He raises the tempo with the Cajun feel of "Jolie" and "What Was You Thinkin'."

The quality is marred by a few crossover ("I'll Get You Back") and uptempo songs ("My Way Back Home," "Let's Talk About Our Love") amidst a backing group sounding far too rehearsed. The playing often fails to pack much of a wallop.

Not earthshattering by any stretch, yet consistently good, the only thing listeners ought to miss is the lead-off cut.