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Toby Keith

Hope on the Rocks – 2012 (Show Dog - Universal label)

Reviewed by Rick Bell

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CDs by Toby Keith

For most of the 2000s, Toby Keith albums have been predictable and quite honestly pretty boring. Keith's latest again is predictable, but this time around it's anything but dull. Perhaps it's the pared down selection of just 10 cuts, allowing Keith to cull and produce the best that he's written.

His themes stomp through familiar turf - cold beer, curvy girls, curvy girls who drink cold beer - but there's a more convincing vibe from start to finish. A bartender relates a never-ending stream of sad tales on the opening title cut, while the central character in Scat Cat tries to escape the family business - runnin' moonshine (naturally). Missed You Just Right is a lost-love song that instead of a typical Keith f-you refrain, it's a thank you - a nice touch for the normally heavy-handed singer.

Four more cuts are included in the deluxe edition, including a bawdy remix of Red Solo Cup and live cuts of Whiskey Girl and Get Out of My Car - f-you to the girl included.