07 November 2007

Toby Keith - "Big Dog Daddy"

Big Dog Daddy
Toby Keith
CD Release Date: 12 June 2007

The artist who writes for himself lives and dies by his own hand.  Such is true of Toby Keith, who has written for himself since day one.  Starting with 1999's How Do You Like Me Now?! breakthrough, Keith's output has been almost staggering.  Big Doggy Daddy is the sixth studio album he's released since then, and that doesn't include his second greatest hits package or the soundtrack album to his film, Broken Bridges.  If nothing else, you have to hand it to Toby Keith for keeping new product out there on a pretty consistent basis.

And yet...There is a sense throughout Big Dog Daddy that Toby, the songwriter, has run out of things to say.  He has often spun a catchphrase into a song, scoring hits such as "Who's Your Daddy" in the process.  Which is why hearing him resort to a song built entirely around the phrase, "See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya" so disappointing.  "Get My Drink On,""Pump Jack" and "Hit It" are supposed to be club anthems, but they're too generic.  The title song, "Big Dog Daddy" is similarly generic, only the tune is a near-plagiarism of "Johnny B. Goode."  Perhaps now that Toby works for himself there's no one standing over his shoulder to say, "One more draft."  There should be, because the only song from this set that really seems to have taken Toby more than five minutes to make up in the shower is the second single, "Love Me If You Can."

"Love Me If You Can" might just be the best written song Toby has had in a few albums now; certainly, its novelty lies in that it's not a novelty song.  His earlier career was full of songs like "Dream Walkin'," "Who's That Man" and "Me Too," and while there's nothing to complain about his vocals, the quality of the songs just hasn't been there for a while now.  "Love Me" is a strong step back in that direction, even if the rest of the album takes nine steps back afterward.

No comments:

Post a Comment