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Toby Keith

Honkytonk University – 2005 (DreamWorks Nashville)

Reviewed by Michael Sudhalter

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CDs by Toby Keith

Toby Keith's 13th album reflects both the Oklahoma native's staying power in mainstream country music, and, unfortunately, the title track shows the arrogance that has accompanied his rise to the top.

"Honkytonk U," Keith's "mini-bio" is an unnecessary song in which he brags about everything from selling out concerts to entertaining U.S. troops in the Middle East. Many artists have performed for the military, but few have bragged about doing it. The rest, however, strays from Keith's wear-my-patriotism on my sleeve attitude. There's "As Good As I Once Was," a song in the vein of "Just Talking About Tonight," and the equally humorous "You Ain't Leavin' (Thank God Are Ya)." Keith also shines in his duet with Merle Haggard - "She Ain't Hooked on Me No More" and on the poignant ballad "Where You Gonna Go."

Almost guaranteed to be a hit with fans, Keith should stick to recording quality music - without telling us how wonderful, tough or patriotic he is.