Toby Keith 'Hope On The Rocks' - HumpHead

If you’re already a Toby Keith fan then you’ll love this but if you’re not, then I don’t think it will swing you into the record store to get your own copy.  All of the fourteen alcohol infused tracks are co-written by Toby and it’s obvious from the lyrics who was the dominant partner in each co-write. The set opens with a power ballad tribute to the social counselling skills of your average life long bar tender and finishes with a live, audience grabber that Keith says “Ain’t never gonna make radio” and if the PC brigade ever hear it he’ll end up carrying two very important parts of his male anatomy around in a jar for the rest of his honky tonkin’ career.

I found the music a little bit on the country side of Lynard Skynard and owing more to Kenny Chesney than Merle or Hank but in combination with the lyrics it’s guaranteed to have legions of deprived Garth Brooks fans screaming in the aisles. If you find yourself listening to this album with a longneck in one hand and a “Daisy Mae” in the other then be prepared to vote a little more right of centre than you did in the past.

The main twelve tracks are contagious foot-tappers and grow on you with each listen but the four bonus tracks I could have done without. Country, mixed for night clubbing, I can well leave where I found it. Make no mistake Toby Keith can sing and knows his audience well and in truth I think he targets his output with a bit more sales marketing in mind than he is given credit for. The lyrics are not for your average caring sensitive feminine sided male but they were never set out to be. And I found myself liking this whole CD a lot more than I planned and it’s more likely to find itself in my Party Pack than in the Sin Bin, where most of the current pop masquerading as country ends up these days.

Good on ya Toby. You got me with this one. Chalk up another hit.