12 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Honkytonk University (2005) finds Toby Keith getting back to the less-confrontational topics and sounds of his 1990s work. As in those days, some of the strongest moments here deal with heartache, with the tormented “Knock Yourself Out” and the sensitive “You Caught Me At A Bad Time” coming across particularly well. There’s an older-and-wiser air to tunes like “As Good As I Once Was” and “Big Blue Note,” all the more touching given Keith’s tough-guy image. Balancing these thoughtful numbers are flashes of ornery humor and outlaw pride, such as the Waylon Jennings-like title track and the Bob Wills-ish “You Ain’t Leavin’ (Thank God Ya Are).” Does all this suggest that Keith is (gulp) mellowing? Actually, he’s showing a measure of courage by avoiding cheap shots and tackling subtler themes of love and sorrow. On Honkytonk University, he graduates to a higher artistic level without losing his rebel edge.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Honkytonk University (2005) finds Toby Keith getting back to the less-confrontational topics and sounds of his 1990s work. As in those days, some of the strongest moments here deal with heartache, with the tormented “Knock Yourself Out” and the sensitive “You Caught Me At A Bad Time” coming across particularly well. There’s an older-and-wiser air to tunes like “As Good As I Once Was” and “Big Blue Note,” all the more touching given Keith’s tough-guy image. Balancing these thoughtful numbers are flashes of ornery humor and outlaw pride, such as the Waylon Jennings-like title track and the Bob Wills-ish “You Ain’t Leavin’ (Thank God Ya Are).” Does all this suggest that Keith is (gulp) mellowing? Actually, he’s showing a measure of courage by avoiding cheap shots and tackling subtler themes of love and sorrow. On Honkytonk University, he graduates to a higher artistic level without losing his rebel edge.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.0 out of 5
123 Ratings
123 Ratings
McGunnergle ,

Outstanding CD

This CD is a great CD. it has a little for every one. the slow stuff for the ladies and the good stuff for the guys. Track 1,2,3,4,6,7,8, and 11 are the Really good ones.

daddy frank ,

5 Stars for "As Good As I Once Was"

The feeding frenzy against The Dixie Chicks, of which he was complicitous, by the country music establishment and his jingoistic posturing in general made me want to not like Toby Keith, but he's one of the few genuine articals/articles in the spotlight these days, a real country singer. "As Good As I Once Was" got us through a difficult cross country trip a few years ago. Some other good cuts on Honkeytonk U., but country music is still about the single, ain't it?

brookalee ,

Nice Change

This reminds me of why I originally liked Toby Keith. His last few albums have been fun, but this returns him to his roots, reminicent of his early hits. I like it!

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