Toby Keith is Locked and Loaded
Toby Keith is back on the scene with his next album release. Toby set out to find success with his own record label a few years ago and he’s been extremely successful with his own music. He puts out a new album every year and a half. Each of those albums has 3 singles sent to radio and 1 or 2 of those usually have a big impact on radio with the third occasionally making a minor splash.
Toby’s business model is pretty streamline but his music is anything but. Toby has been a consistent force for good country music over the past 20 years and his latest album is no different.
Toby and his record label were nice enough to send me a copy of his new album and I thought I would review each of the songs for you so you can determine if you want to purchase it.
Check it out…
Bullets In The Gun – Toby Keith
1) Bullets In The Gun
The opening track is also the title track and second single from the album. It’s probably the best song on the entire record. It’s a great modern day Bonnie & Clyde story. Toby sings as the narrator that gets messed up in the Southwest with a dancing girl, her ex lovers, and some stolen cash. The rest is history as the two flee for safety in Mexico only to be tracked down in a blaze of glory and gunfire. The song reminds me of El Paso by Marty Robbins with a little bit of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It’s really a great song, which shouldn’t surprise me so much since Toby is great with songs like this.
2) Somewhere Else
On his last two albums Toby has featured lots of songs he has co-written with Bobby Pinson – fellow country artist. Somewhere Else is another one of those tracks. The song is a little uptempo with a cool groove. It’s a classic song about a guy alone after his woman left him. He heads to the bar on most days and stumbles his way through life, but in the end the guy sure knows he’ll make it somewhere even if it’s not where he originally intended on going.
Most of you already know Trailerhood. It’s the campy, but fun tune that opened up the album as the first single. The song is simply about living life in the trailer park. It’s not poking fun at anyone, but embracing the good life of living down in a little piece of paradise. Songs like these allow us to have a little laugh out ourselves once and a while. Even if you’ve never lived in a trailer you’ve probably found yourself doing a few of the things mentioned in this song. Farmer tans? Watch the storms with a beer on the lawn chair out back? Don’t lie. You know you’ve done it. This song is one of my favorites on the album as well. There is just something about it that’s enjoyable to listen to.
4) In A Couple of Days
More whiskey drinking after the sorrows of losing a woman fill this song about love and loss. Toby sings about growing his beard out and not doing much of anything after being surprised that his woman left. Most of the album is filled with a full-bearded Toby and it finally makes sense on this track. The song has as simple arrangement with just a few instruments. I like the stripped down feel to this track. It’s unique. After a tough break up it takes us all a little time to get over the initial shock. Toby sings about just needing a couple of days. The chorus has the classic Toby Keith powerful tone to it and that is what really makes this a good track.
5) Think About You All Of The Time
From the first few chords on this track you know it’s going to be a little tongue in cheek. Toby sings about a new girlfriend that cures his heart after his old one left him. Even though Toby is sure he’s moved on he just can’t shake the thought of her. There is a little denial in this song as Toby tries to do all he can to get over that woman he can’t help but thinking about his old gal even when he’s romancing a new woman. He doesn’t miss her that much though…he just thinks about her all the time.
6) Kissin’ In The Dark
Some electric guitars and a song about high school and having fun is the recipe for a great tune. The song is about two kids having the love of a lifetime in the car one night back in high school Toby reminiscences about those days every time it rains and he hears the rain coming down hard. This is a good tune that even sounds like it could be a hit single.
7) Drive It On Home
The trucker song.
This song moves one hundred miles an hour down the road and it will get you jacked up as you hear it through the speakers on your truck. It’s a great song that fits right in with all the classic trucker songs from years past. Toby rips through the lyrics as the narrator sings about heading on home to see his baby. Plenty of road images and trucking grooves in this great country tune.
8)Ain’t Breakin’ Nothin’
Here we get a new look at the classic breakup song. Toby tells the tale of a guy that’s getting dumped. Despite being down on his luck and thinking things are pretty low the narrator takes the positive road and thinks that he’s been down this low before and he can sure as hell climb his way out again. Some of us find ourselves getting caught in life’s ruts and fighting to stay out. It’s just a part of life, but it ain’t nothing that can’t be worked out.
9) Is That All You Got
Here we go back to a few albums ago when Toby Keith used to write all his songs with fellow artist Scotty Emerick. Also included as a co-writer is Toby’s original writing partner Dean Dillion who was with Toby in the very early days. I’m not sure if this track is a leftover from those times, but it fits in well on this record. As you could probably suspect from the title, the song is about a guy that finds himself in a breakup but that he asks the girl if that’s all she’s got. Toby is ready to get right back up and head out to take on life once again with this song. It fits right in with the theme to Toby’s entire career – is that all you got?
10) Get Out Of My Car
Ever have a girl drink all your booze with the hopes of doing a little loving?
You know you’ve been there before. Sure it’s a little misogynistic, but it’s all in a bit of fun. Women will probably not like this song the best. I played it for my girlfriend and she gave me the finger, in fact. But Toby has never been one to shy away from controversy so this fits right in with his attitude.
Next 4 tracks on Deluxe version only
11) 11 Months and 29 Days
Ladies and Gentlemen…can we get a little Johnny Paycheck please?
Toby breaks things down with a little blues country on this Johnny cover. Man this song is great. Outlaw country at its finest and other than Jamey Johnson there is perhaps no person better to sing this cover than Toby. What a great job on this track. It fits right in with the theme of the album which is mostly about drinking, losing woman, screwing up, and getting into trouble on the wrong side of life.
12) I’ve Been A Long Time Leaving (But I’ll Be A Long Time Gone)
This one starts out kind of groovy and then Toby comes in with a low growl. It’s a neat track. Toby lays down some cool Waylon. It’s straight outta the outlaw era and I’m diffing it. This is one of the truly cool tracks to come out of a Deluxe package. I really like it, but you can’t really go wrong with some Waylon covers especially if your Toby Keith.
Lots of saxophone to kick this one off. For some reason Toby loves him some saxophone in the last three or four years. It’s kind of weird, but he makes it work. This tune is the classic from Roger Miller. It’s a fun live track that kind of gets things on a fun note before shutting down the album. Roger could really write some great songs and this is one of them. It’s fun to see Toby putting his own licks on the tune.
You’ll recognize this Gordon Lightfoot classic. Toby puts some great passion behind this live version on the Deluxe version of his latest album. He gets the fans in the audience to sing along and it makes for a great moment on the record. I love when country artists take on classic American rock songs like this. Toby does a great job. He captures the same vibe Gordon does on the original and adds a little bit of Toby attitude.