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Honkytonk University

Toby Keith

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iTunes 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.

Customer Reviews

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.

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?

Good if a little erratic

Toby Keith is an enormous talent, but like his other albums this one ranges from truly unique songs (there probably aren't too many other artists who could create, let alone carry off, As Good As I Once Was) to songs that are kind of jokers (You Ain't Leaving and She Left Me). Still, country music would be infinitely more boring without Toby Keith.

Biography

Born: July 8, 1961 in Clinton, OK

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Toby Keith spent the '90s as a solid, workmanlike country star who met with considerable chart success, yet never quite broke free of the neo-traditionalist pack to become a household name like Garth Brooks or Alan Jackson. That all changed in 2002 when he recorded "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)," a response to September 11 that became one of country's most highly charged political statements since Merle Haggard's "Okie from Muskogee." The media furor ensured that even...
Full Bio
Honkytonk University, Toby Keith
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