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Toby Keith

That Don't Make Me a Bad Guy – 2008 (ShowDog Nashville)

Reviewed by Jeff Lincoln

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CDs by Toby Keith

Toby Keith focuses on 2 major topics: 1) how much he enjoys drinking and carousing all night, and 2) how he can't seem to keep the love of a good woman. One wonders in most of these co-written tunes with Bobby Pinson whether he's considered how being successful in the one will impact the other. It's all great fun, though, whether it's the title track's plea for understanding on his honky-tonkin' ways ("I'm as good as I gotta be"), or his motorcycling around town with the preacher's daughter ("she was baptized in dirty water"). The romp of Creole Woman brings terrific balanced instrumentation with fiddles and guitars all served up hot.

The heartfelt laments are a little less successful (Lost You Anyway and Hurt A Lot Worse When You Go). A straight-ahead baritone, Keith's voice doesn't emote with the same depth of Tim McGraw or Alan Jackson do. Sometimes that distance works on balance, and the straight shooter delivery with moping lyrics works. She Never Cried In Front of Me was a passable opening single, but there are better tunes. Keith always stays true to his character, and, as a triple-threat producer/writer/artist is never short on talent.