Local Wire

Toby Keith

Toby Keith may not really be a dick, but he plays one on CD. He generally comes across as ultra-smug, as if flaunting his popularity in the faces of intellectual elitists was half the fun of success. Yet the attitudinal aggressiveness that dominates White Trash is vastly preferable to the stuff squeezed out by the bland pretty boys and generic poseurs who clog the country airwaves. Not that Keith is especially original; the key phrase in the randy "Get Drunk and Be Somebody" hasn't been fresh since Gilley's installed its first mechanical bull. And when he tries to get sensitive on "Crash Here Tonight," featuring the gag-o-rific couplet "See one candle burning in your eye/And watch my heart fill up with butterflies," he sounds like a Keith Urban retread with no chance to pork Nicole Kidman. Still, he pulls off the string-laden "A Little Too Late" and the introspective "Note to Self," not to mention "Runnin' Block," which is rude, sexist and pretty damn funny. If you're feeling like a dick, that is.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently oversees Westword's news blog.
Contact: Michael Roberts