The Assassinated Press
Toby Keith Pussies Out.
You’d Like To Think He’s Realized He’s An Ignorant Fuck That Ought To Keep His Mouth Shut About Things He Knows Nothing About, But In Reality It’s All About Selling Records.
By JOE BLOW
Assassinated Press Staff Writer
June 12, 2007
Shit, I was waiting eagerly for more of Toby Keith’s hard hat style war mongering bullshit. I used to imagine double amputees humming one of Keith’s angry anthems while they strapped on their prosthetics grateful that Toby was safely in his hillbilly castle composing lyrics designed to light a fire under the very people who blew the amputees legs off. Not that Keith can do anything to top the blowback from two centuries of brutal, kleptocratic U.S. foreign policy nor would he know anything about it, ignorant shit that he is, but at least he was out there trying to fuck things up for a buck which is about the best way anyone can celebrate America.
But five years after his bellicose "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (the Angry American)" on which he offered to "stick a boot in their ass, it's the American way" and the Muslim world has returned the favor but unfortunately not to Toby personally, Keith has pussied out. Now Keith is crooning "Love Me If You Can," a political song that suggests if you’ve returned from Iraq or Afghanistan with your genitalia intact you might want to fucking ride this old rhinestone cowboy. The song considerably ratchets down the confrontational ignorance with which the Oklahoma country star is often associated.
This chicken shit song, the second on his new album, "Big Dog Daddy," backs off of his critics not because Keith has gone out of his way to make himself complicit in so much murder but to widen his base and sell more cds. You have to be a fool to believe that infantilized culture like Keiths’ corny shit is a genuine “search for common ground, even among those with fundamentally different views.” But, fuck, that’s the Post’s take and that makes the Post the beacon of stupidity that it is today.
When a know nothing piece of shit like Keith gets caught out in his ignorance time and time again he resorts to lyrics like "And before all debating turns to angry words or hate, sometimes we should just agree to disagree." Keith sings this maudlin neotonous commplace before concluding the track, almost forlornly, "Hate me if you want to. Love me if you can." Why bother with either? Hate the culture. Not some fop who's figured out how to exploit it whether that fop is Karl Rove, Bill'O'Reilly, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey or Toby Keith.
Will his haters learn to love him? Or at least like him? Give him a hug? At least the one’s that still have arms. It matters little. Whatever your politics or worldview, unless you’re an infantilized moron, it's hard to argue that Keith isn’t just another hick twang singing nursery rhymes for adults. And like Madison Avenue, he also knows a good hook when he hears one, and the 11 songs on this release are peppered with advertising self-promotion, simple minded double-entendres and, of course, those heavy doses of marketplace twang.
They’re so infantile, Keith wrote or co-wrote almost all of the songs, produced the album and released it on his own label. So it is very much another versdion of his own ignorance styled to sell to people equally as ignorant and reflecting his narrow, one trick pony, provincial tastes, from such Southern-fried rockers as "Hit It" to the Chuck Berryesque title track. And a cover of Fred Eaglesmith's "White Rose," about a long-shuttered gas station, owes much -- at least in terms of melody and mawkish sentimentality -- to narrative folk singing (think Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans.")
Those looking for writing that reveals Keith's political bewilderment, though, will have to look elsewhere -- his Web site, for instance. There he makes it clear after cheering on the death of tens of thousands that he's annoyed with how he's been portrayed by other celebrities and how he feels his political views have not been misrepresented. He even calls out actor Sean Penn for suggesting that Keith bears responsibility (along with Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly and many other chicken shit hwaks) for the war in Iraq.
"Now the difference between me and Sean Penn is that I've talked to 50 generals. Well, maybe not 50. 10. Well, three. No, I’ve talked to one and he called me a faggot and told me to lose the fucking earring and get my haircut. But there was a Lt. Col. who humored me for about ten minutes," Keith writes. "I doubt Penn has even talked to one and you can see what its done for my knowledge and insights on the Iraqi invasion. I supported the war in Iraq and still do, but right now that might be a downer for my record sales."
So Toby’s lack of scruples are still in tact so on this new album Keith plays down politics which he knows nothing about and plays up classic country which is the kind of infantilized culture he can negotiate in. For the honky-tonk dollar, he covers his honky-tonk bases with "Get My Drink On," a rollicking high-speed shuffle about boozing and a DUI that ends with the protagonist wiping out a whole van load of Mormons which helps him forget a woman who has left home because "I didn't treat her right." “Such fresh and original ideas just come to me while I'm high---and driving down Route 40---at a high rate of speed,” protested Keith during a recent interview. “I’m the fucking new Franz Kafka.” There's also the amusing "High Maintenance Woman" though apparently the woman tha song is about is not amused. But anyway in order to make a buck and in total disregard for his part in the fuckup he sings, "I ain't hooked it up yet, but I'm trying hard as I can / It's just a high maintenance woman don't want no maintenance man" as though being a drunken, drug riddled hick singer war monger complicit in the murder of tens of thousands of people isn’t high maintenance enough.
The best track, though, might be "Wouldn't Wanna Be Ya," a song that upends the notion of a one-night-stand and resolves it in clever, heartwarming fashion which shows you just how banal this fuck Keith is. Hate him if you want to. But there's a lot about Toby Keith's latest CD to love---if you have the emotional development of a five year old.