Toby Keith – “She Never Cried In Front Of Me”

Brady Vercher | July 3rd, 2008

Toby Keith Songwriters: Toby Keith and Bobby Pinson

After the clunker that was “She’s A Hottie,” Toby Keith and Bobby Pinson hook up again to bring us the first single, “She Never Cried In Front Of Me,” from Keith’s next album. While it’s not nearly as melodramatic as “It’s Not Supposed To Go Like That,” a song Pinson co-wrote on Rascal Flatts’ latest album, its attempts to convey emotion are juvenile and anything but subtle.

The important revelation in the first verse is that a tear rolled down the bride’s face. Apparently tears are the only way that the narrator can perceive emotion in others, since he wasn’t capable of realizing that he put his ex through hell when they were together or that anything was ever wrong because he never saw her cry. If it takes a tear to open his eyes, then he’s pretty much hopeless.

Apart from the shifts in perspective and changes in tense, the major problem with this song is that the lyric fleshes out too many irrelevant details that end up creating all sorts of logical fallacies. We don’t need to know that it’s 7:35 unless it’s meant to signify a defining point in the narrator’s life. If that were truly the case and he was so hung up on his ex that he couldn’t forget about her until hope was definitively lost (the exact minute of her marriage), then he most likely would have changed his ways to keep from hurting her, but as he tells us later, “Yeah, maybe I might’ve changed / It’s hard for me to say.” That admission does nothing to create a sympathetic character. Instead he tells us that the story is a sad one and it bothers him, which leaves me with that impression that he’s upset that she didn’t like him as much as he likes himself.

In addition, the production is a bit too heavy in the chorus and doesn’t properly set the mood that the song shoots for, especially the awkward bridge that sounds like Keith is prancing through an open meadow rather than upset about his “loss.” As country music continues to go after a younger audience, I expect to hear more songs like this being released.

Besides all that, the concept has been done before. Tracy Lawrence’s “I See It Now” covered similar territory with better results and you’ll notice that it doesn’t bother with irrelevant details.

Thumbs Down

  1. Telly
    July 3, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    I love, love, love Toby Keith, but that song is really bad. Just horribly bad. God, it kills me to say that. The lyrics and the vocals sound like my neighbor when he gets drunk over his broken heart and drags his guitar out of the garage thinking he’s gonna get her back by acting like Bon Jovi or something.

    I wish Toby would just be who he is instead of pandering to an audience as fickle as Jessica Simpson.

  2. D16
    July 3, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Telly, How can yoube so naieve. This is a great song

  3. John Maglite
    July 3, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    I agree. If you don’t agree with D16, you are clearly naieve.

  4. CRAIG R.
    July 3, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    I must confess that Toby Keith has really not impressed me that much since ” How Do You Like Me Now?” This song continues a path that he has been on since that song: Songs About Me! All of his songs it appears always come back to how he feels, what he wants, what turns him on, what kind of person he is. And a great many of them are blame songs where he blames someone else, or something else, for not seeing things his way. He has a hugh ego problem which only makes him seem immature to an adult ear. I also think that he degrades woman. Now I know a great many fans of Toby Keith are women. But in many of his songs women are toys, playmates, objects of desire. But they are never full humans. They are not complex or real. He can’t really commit to the idea of being equal with a woman.( Maybe he is really afraid of them!). If I were a sixteen year old boy with a thimble full of knowledge about women I would think Toby Keith was the bomb. But as a real man, who knows real women, I am not impressed; not by his songwriting ability and not by his voice. Also this song reminds me “Another Try ” by Josh Turner. That song is also about an obtuse man-child.

  5. Brian
    July 3, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Toby once made the comment that he was the “Barry Bonds of songwriting.” After “She’s A Hottie,” and this one- he might want to think about going back on the steroids.

  6. Jim Malec
    July 3, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    I think Toby is one of the better recording artists in country music–but like so many artists, he’s reached a point in his career where he feels like he can release whatever the hell he wants.

    This is one of the big problems with the overall rejection of the label establishment–your music probably isn’t as good as you think it is, and it’s often useful to have people there guiding you.

    Tim McGraw is going through this same period right now, in my opinion. His music has become sloppy. He’s lost focus. The songs just aren’t as good.

    A&R isn’t perfect, and there are a lot of folks too focused on what the market wants as opposed to what is “good.” But I do think, as an artist, you need some kind of filtering mechanism. Right now Keith is his own author, editor, and publisher. And that spells a perfect recipe for a bad book.

  7. CRAIG R.
    July 3, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Jim that is an excellent point.

  8. Matt B.
    July 3, 2008 at 6:02 pm


    That’s probably the best point when it comes to Toby’s music and virtually any artist ‘left to their own devices.’ They don’t have enough people willing to tell their boss, “uh, hoss, that song works for ‘filler’ but it ain’t no radio killer.’

    Sorry for the rhymin’ Maybe that’s a song…heh.

  9. Lucas
    July 3, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    I’m not going to lie, I’ve been a bit disappointed with Toby – namely “She’s A Hottie,” it’s just not a good song.

    But I think this song is the road taking Toby back to his glory days honestly. I hope he puts out a video for “You Might Need a Hero Tonight” from the BFMH soundtrack. Other than that, I hope he doesn’t put out another single until his next album.

  10. Annie
    July 3, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Wow! I’m really surprised by the comments here. I liked “She’s a Hottie”…it’s a fun, top-down, summertime song. Not everything has to be “profound”. As for the new single, She Never Cried In Front of Me”, I LOVE it! His voice is strong and yet vulnerable…and I enjoy “details” in the song…as for what purpose they serve…they set a tone and let you really in the story being told. I don’t take the line “maybe I might have changed” the same way the critic did…I took it as a way to “throw off the pain”…kinda like “who knows what would have happened; no one can predict how things would have gone”…I don’t know…maybe I don’t dissect songs enough…I like ‘em or I don’t…this one really gets to me on so many levels…and a lot of it is the “feeling” it evokes in me…taking it apart line by line – any song for that matter – detracts from the “whole” for me…

  11. Brenda
    July 3, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Mr. Craig R.

    I sure beg to differ opinions with your comments about Toby referring to women in many of his songs as toys, playmates, objects of desire. And that they are never full humans.
    I being a Woman do not find this the least bit true. A song is what it is ,a song , not being directed at anyone person. If women or men for that matter choose to take it personally then that is their problem. Toby is no different than any other artist out there , they all do it but not with the intentions of this is how they truly feel about people.
    As a matter of fact I bet you Toby’s beautiful wife Trish (and 2 daughters) could tell you he is quite the opposite. After all they have been together for 22 years if I’m not mistaken.
    As for the review of the song itself , I think Toby nailed it ,I like to see half of you people who always seem to want to critize his Music do it half the justice he does.
    I guess when he wrote the song The Critic it was for more then just music reviewers , it was all you out there who think they can do what he does and be where he is today.
    I think he must be doing something right , the indusrty and people have tried to push him down for years and you know what ???? Thanks to loyal fans he has made it and will continue to make it .


  12. Rick
    July 3, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Jim, I almost wish your explanation was valid as it would indicate the artists just aren’t being objective about their music, or that they are playing a bit fast and loose. I tend to think these artists like Toby and Tim have sized up the current Top 40 Airhead Country Radio environment and decided they don’t have to put out top notch material to get it played on radio, so why bother? If the radio programmers and their listeners don’t care if the music is good and will eat it up anyway just based upon the artist performing it, why should the artists go the extra mile to create a higher quality “product”?

    The current state of Top 40 mainstream country radio not only doesn’t demand excellence, it seems to abhor it. If country radio wants hook laden, shallow rock-pop crap, then these artists are just doing their best to satisfy that marketplace….

  13. Stormy
    July 3, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    I would actually feel the opposite about Toby if he wasn’t such a dillwad about deserving awards for this dreck. It feels like he feels compelled to keep releasing versions of the same song over and over.

  14. Lynn
    July 3, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Unlike Brenda and Annie, I really feel that women will not like this song. Toby is basically saying to a woman – How was I to know something was wrong if you didn’t tell me? Was I supposed to notice that you were unhappy and didn’t cry in front of me? As a woman, this is precisely the kind of guy that you learn to hate and break up with – the selfish type. Uh, YES, you were supposed to notice! Women actually prefer men who do pay attention to how they’re feeling! Toby doesn’t play a sympathetic dufus either, one who messed up and learned his lesson. In fact the first line is “I can get’on with my life, and that thrills me.” Hmm…

    However, if there were women over the age of 15 who liked “She’s a Hottie” and other women like Brenda and Annie who haven’t clued into the misogynistic and objectifying lyrics of many of Toby’s songs, then maybe this will be a hit too. I used to be a fan of Toby’s, back in the day. Is his voice off in this one too? A little thin for him? Oh well, maybe just me.

    Don’t most artists mature with age? Intelligent, honest, introspective lyrics can still make for a great radio hit, right?

  15. B. Jonathan
    July 4, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Toby Keith may have devalued what would have been a peerless, Hall of Fame career by trusting his own judgment without the consideration of other points of view. This song proves it.

  16. Brad
    July 4, 2008 at 10:20 am

    I really enjoyed “Shes a Hottie” and this new song. To me, these songs were much better then the previous five or six he put out before these singles. I LOVE BOBBY PINSON as well! He is such a hell of a writer.

  17. Todd
    July 5, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    I’ve gotta say this song is not as good as his music previous to the “Pull My Chain” album but it’s miles better than his last several singles.

  18. Dan
    July 5, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Most of you commenters:
    I hear many of you saying that you were disappointed in Toby Keith lately. So I have to ask what your problems are. I am a huge fan of his, and throughout his whole career, I have never heard a song of his that wasn’t great.
    Some of you, like John Maglite and D16 at least leave appreciative comments. At least some people are sane and kind enough to leave them.

  19. Michelle Harney
    July 6, 2008 at 12:18 am

    It’s only a freaking country song folks. He still has the best band in the business. My husband is absolutely clueless…why not the guy who wrote this? “She’s a Hottie” was questionable but no more than the last couple Mont & Gent Songs…

  20. Michelle Harney
    July 6, 2008 at 12:20 am

    Actually, I’m seeing vibes from “Victoria’s Secret”…a zone I’d love to see Toby fnd again…

  21. Heidi
    July 6, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    I like this song but wonder how it would be if Bobby Pinson sang it instead of Keith.

  22. Megan Adamson
    July 7, 2008 at 8:53 am

    I think that this song is GREAT!! It really evokes some real emotion. It is very relatable for a realtionship gone bad…I LOVE IT TOBY!! Keep ‘em coming!!

  23. Brian
    July 7, 2008 at 9:25 am

    I guess I should expound upon my glib response. I am a huge Toby fan. Have been ever since he burst on the scene with “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.” Compared to some of the other stuff he has written the two most recent songs are awful.

  24. jason
    July 7, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    not a huge toby keith fan but i think this is one great song. it keeps it real and i think is done well.

  25. chelsey
    July 9, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    i just wanted to say that toby keith is really one of the best songwriters/musicians i have ever seen or heard! this song may not be the best but there has never been a song of his that i didnt like. his voice is amazing and makes any song he sings amazing I LOVE TOBY KEITH and anything he writes is from the heart adn how he feels. i dont think that he feels that he can write and put anything out that he wants. he is the big dog daddy and he is nothing compared other genres of music. i dont care what anyy of you have to say bad about T.K he is amazing and a talented singer who writes from the heart. i would give anything to meet anyone like that

  26. Tammy H
    July 10, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Love this song…..and wouldn’t change a thing. I love u Toby.

  27. EDDIE
    July 10, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    What on earth gives you folks the impression that you can rip apart someone’s music? Who the hell are you to say what’s good and what’s bad. Music is about expression, not about proper tense usage or appealing to the uptight, scrutinizing criteria of some blogger with a radio next to his PC who spends all day finding songs to pick on like a bully who’ll never have to confront the kids he makes he makes fun of.

    You try to write a quality song.

    If Toby Keith wants to feel bad for himself, the let him feel bad for himself. He’s not asking for your sympathy. Besides, what make you feel like your sympathy and approval is so valuable in the first place?

  28. Kelly
    July 10, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Eddie: Do you like everything you have ever heard on the radio, or wached on CMT? I didnt think so. It is okay to not like a song, and it’s even more ok to discuss why that song isnt great, in that persons opinion. This site offers an exchange of thoughts and ideas that is sorely lacking from the Country Music scene. You dont like to analyze the lyrics? Fine. You dont prefer to hold artists to a high standard? Fine too. Go grab your front row seat to the next Rascal Flatts show and then go home and watch with delight the “Gone Country” episodes you have tivo’d and just have yourself a good ol’ brainless, non-country, good time.

  29. Jim Malec
    July 10, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    1) Criticism is an important element of any artistic community.

    2) “Like a bully who’ll never have to confront the kids he makes he makes fun of…”

    Yeah, that’s SO not the case. Trust me, it’s NOT fun having to talk to certain people after I write a negative review.

    3) “You try to write a quality song.”

    Been there, done that, still doing it.

  30. Chris N.
    July 10, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Definitely the first time I’ve seen Toby Keith compared with a bullied child.

  31. Danielle
    July 10, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    I love Toby Keith and I love this song.

  32. Stephen H.
    July 10, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    More and more I’m realizing that country music is being produced almost identically to adult contemporary music. If this song charted in that format I would not be shocked.

  33. CASH
    July 10, 2008 at 9:58 pm


  34. chelsey
    July 11, 2008 at 11:55 am

    again, this song is amazing. it does have real emotion for it. i am a toby keith slave in a sense. i dont ever tear up over anything, but this song really gets me because he isnt reall feeling bad for himself,but he is maybe singing from experiemce idk. there are so many men out there that are clueless aobut womens emotions and this song is for them. i dont see why women wouldnt like it. i am and it just shows how guys are emotionally in a sense. i honestly think this is one of his best songs yet. shes a hottie wasnt the usual big dog but he was just having fun and there aint nuthen wrong with that! I LOVE THIS SONG its a real tear jerker and if you dont like it im sorry but you must be missing something or dont appreciate the art of music. TOBY IS THE BEST THERE IS FLAT OUT
    chelsey r

  35. chelsey
    July 11, 2008 at 11:56 am

    definatley a steroid user or a bullied child!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Michelle Harney
    July 11, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    How did you EVER become a critic? Do you lack certain anatomic parts? The song is about an affair. A long affair. He wasn’t the husband, he was the one who she grabbed onto to keep sane during her marriage and children. Just a respite in her life. That’s all it was meant to be…neither ever claimed differently. Listen to again you great macho critic…

    Either way the wind blows…Toby’s vocals are OUTSTANDING. The entire song grabs you. As always, I advert the FACT that HE HAS THE BEST BAND IN MUSIC (not just country)…EASY MONEY FLAT OUT ROCKS…Toby nails it again and you (little critic) cannot stand it…

  37. Michelle Harney
    July 11, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    please let me be a critic…I swear I’ll listen to a song more than

  38. Brady Vercher
    July 12, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Interesting interpretation, Michelle. Mind letting us know how you came to the conclusion that the woman was already married when she was having an affair with the narrator and that she had kids as well?

  39. Chris N.
    July 12, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    As a critic myself, I’d like to reassure the world that all my “anatomic parts” are present and intact.

  40. Stormy
    July 12, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Chris: Prove it! (tee hee)

  41. chelsey
    July 13, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    honestly, there is no way to say that he was having an affair with her!! how do u see that??? he had a girl that he loved and didnt really know it until it was too late. he in a sense did the guy thing and didnt know anything was wrong until she left because she didnt cry. there are many guys in my family alone that are like that. i have no objections that he is number one band in everything, but that assumption is kinda dumb no offense. this song should be a number one hit. and if it doesnt reach that its because very few people seem to aprreciate good music anymore. i am only 16 and i love it, but many people my age become a fan of country for the few poppy songs there are out there, and believe that that is how ALL country should sound. that is that. in my opinion this is one of the best songs he has been apart of in a long while

  42. Stormy
    July 13, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Its not really entirely fair to call being an emotionally clueless dickwad “the guy thing.”

  43. chelsey
    July 13, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    lol i didnt mean all guys are :) i meant that i know alot of guys who are, adn maybe its a song for them idk

  44. joey
    July 13, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    chelsey i agree with you this is the best song hes been apart of in a while and i think it is actually well put together and i do have a few guys in my family who are like that. this song should reach no. 1. alot of these songs these days shouldnt be no1 so lets spread the wealth here to people who dese3rve it. the critic says 7:35 isnt relevant unless it a major turning point for the guy, well dummy it is duhhhh. its when he realizes everything and i think that is a major turning point so this guy sucks at being a critic. but i have a biased opinion cause toby is the best i think

  45. joey
    July 14, 2008 at 12:04 am

    toby has always been great and he takes chances no one other than johnny cash would take. people say they dont like him that much because he made too much money making songs on the war and military, but if your gonna go there then you cant like anything because artists make millions on writing songs about love over and over again so cant like those. it doesnt make sense, toby has nailed this song perfectly and he is still the big dog SO SUCK IT TK HATERS!!! everything doesnt have to be out of this world, just fun and cool for a little while like shes a hottie is. he is the best singer ever right now

  46. Mel
    July 14, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Love Him and Love the song! Don’t know why you have to analysis the song to the point your destroying it. It’s a great song and he sounds great too..

  47. Jim Malec
    July 14, 2008 at 9:25 am

    “he is the best singer ever right now

  48. Chris N.
    July 14, 2008 at 9:28 am

    I would certainly love to have heard Cash sing “She’s a Hottie.”

  49. Kelly
    July 14, 2008 at 9:42 am

    well, it was Johnny Cash’s original version on “bob that head” that made me realize he was a true american icon…

  50. leeann
    July 14, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Ha, Kelly!

  51. leeann
    July 14, 2008 at 9:51 am

    You highlight a funny paradox, Jim!:)

  52. hairandtoenails
    July 14, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Johnny Cash’s “Bob That Head,” made me realize his musical genius, but I just heard Rascal Flatts sing “Flush From the Bathroom of My Heart,” off their Folsom Prison concert CD. And hearing the Flatts sing that song made me realize that they too are musical geniuses.

    Even the greats have recorded a lot of junk.

  53. Chris N.
    July 14, 2008 at 10:49 am

    We do have “Chicken in Black” to contend with.

  54. Stormy
    July 14, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Jim: You know how there are those books that are guides to a subject based on answers given on tests? Y’all should do a guide to music based on blog comments.

  55. Jim Malec
    July 14, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Intriguing idea, Stormy. I can neither confirm nor deny whether we have been exploring, or are currently exploring, any possibilities involving books.

  56. Chris N.
    July 14, 2008 at 11:50 am

    I’ll take that as a non-denial denial.

  57. Courtney Elise
    July 14, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Toby Keith just hasn’t been putting out great music recently. It hasn’t been good since…actually I don’t think he’s ever been that good. He puts out a good song occasionally, but he’s not as good as he’s built up to be.

    This song is fine, it’s not blow my mind good, but not as bad as “She’s A Hottie.” As long as he doesn’t put out another stupid song like that, that somehow finds it’s way into the top 20, I’m fine.

    And I guess if you think lyrics like “Hey Mister/ Ya, I kissed her/Son You ought to see her sister!!!/You’ve got to give a little something to a cool dark cat/finding him a woman who could shake like that/HOTTIE/She’s a Hottie/Got a smokin’ little body/String bikini and a barbed-wire tat/She’s a rockin’ that cowboy hat/HOTTIE/She’s a Hottie/and just a little bit naughty” isn’t deragatory, well then all the more power to you.

  58. chelsey
    July 14, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    how is that deragatory???? its just a fun song about a hott chik

  59. hairandtoenails
    July 14, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Chelsey – There is a line between saying a woman is hot or attractive and seeing her as nothing other than a pice of meat, whose only important characteristic is how well she can turn on a man. The former, I think, is fine, but the latter isn’t. This song seems to be in the latter category.

    I can see that women who wish men to view them as more than T & A might find this obnoxious.

    Toby comes off as a jerk. He wants his friends to give him a high five because he made out with a hot girl. This is the kind of nonsense that 15 year old guys do, but one would hope, adult men grow out of.

    He comes off as shallow – the only thing he notices about this woman is her physical traits.

    Ignoring the potential complaints of feminists, the song’s mind-numbing lyrics are an insult to the intelligence of country fans everywhere.

  60. chelsey
    July 14, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    i understand that but when u look at his wife, she isnt like that and as i said it is only a song, and people shouldnt be offended by that. if they are too bad for them. and to be honest with you that is how a lot of women now adays seem to want to be seen as. i am country born and raised, i am a tomboy and i dont wear makeup and i am strong. guess what
    ? no guy has asked me out because im not like that. i knw it circles back around to its because i am not like that and its deragatory but women kind of bring it on themselves, does tht make sense? i dont know if i really got out what i meant to say or not. its just a song so get over it and most chiks now adays seem to be wanting to be known as nothing but a tou, so u cant call the big dog shallow thats a load of bull.

  61. Chris N.
    July 14, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    What’s a tou?

  62. Stormy
    July 14, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    How, pray tell, do you know what his wife is like?
    Rant On:
    Why is it every single woman associated with Toby’s Keith’s music anymore is nothing more that the most cliched sexualized body parts and defined only by how she feeds his over ego-ized vision of himself? And how did we get drug back to the point where this is even remotely acceptable? To some degree you all as a generation bring this on yourselves because you allow them to sell you this BS as an acceptable standard of behavior. And then you turn around and blame these girls for being exactly what every message society sends them tells them to be. It is not the girls who are messed up and it is society that is badly messing you over.
    How did y’all get back here? How did y’all let this happen? I am probably a generation older than you are and when they tried to pull this over on us we started reading Sassy, started wearing combat boots and flannel shirts and started listening to bands with names like Bratmobile and Bikini Kill. So why is it when someone older than your dad gives someone young enough to be his daughter that he has to take off half her clothes and be open to having a threesome with her sister do you stand up for him and not her?
    See if you can find a copy of the wonderfully informative book called Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher and the next time someone presents you with the socialization of the average Toby Keith song, reply with a little Annie Defranco:

  63. Stormy
    July 14, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Rant off.

  64. joey
    July 15, 2008 at 2:53 am

    toby is a guy who sings and writes. how do you know what toby is like. i dont pretend to like him, cause i dont know him. i just love his music. why does his songs suck when he sings about meaningless stuff. deirks sings come a little closer and all it is is he wants to have sex with the girl, he doesnt say he cares about her he just wants to screw her and guess what everyone loves the song so dont diss tobys music if you cant diss all music dumbassess. underwood is singing bout getting drunk and marrying a guy and yet how pointless it is you all love it, i do too its catchy, so lets not listen to her and bash her, oh wait we cant cuz shes the american idol. honkytonk badonkadonk is pretty much the same as shes a hottie if you think about it BUT its his best and favorite hit???????? stop trying to hate The BIG DOG just cuz hes the best and you are jealous. and as usual i agree with chelsey

  65. Stormy
    July 15, 2008 at 6:52 am

    Come A Little Closer is decently written and Dirkes sings about other subjects too.

  66. leeann
    July 15, 2008 at 7:09 am

    I’m pretty sure the same people who dislike “She’s A Hottie” don’t particular like Trace’s song either. So, using one to defend the other probably won’t convince us.

    Chelsea, as far as using lines like “that’s too bad”, “get over it” and “that’s a load of bull” doesn’t exactly plead your case very well. In fact, lame argument like those (if we can even classify them as arguments) that feed into Toby’s arrogant and juvenile persona. I’m certainly not convinced that I need to “get over it”, etc.

    PS. I can easily call “the Big Dog” shallow…the nickname alone gives me license to do so.:)

  67. leeann
    July 15, 2008 at 7:10 am

    Oh yeah, Stormy, we need to stop being soooo jealous!:) ‘Cause we obviously are.

  68. Stormy
    July 15, 2008 at 8:37 am

    The only person I am jealous of is Dani Spencer. She gets to be an actress, singer, songwriter, have two adorable kids AND married to Russell Crowe. Bitch.

  69. leeann
    July 15, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Yeah, there are some people of whom I may be jealous, but Toby ain’t one of them.

  70. Amanda
    July 15, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    I love the song “She’s a hottie” and I love this new song. Toby Keith is very talented and short of this board and Natalie Maines, I’ve never heard more disparaging words spoken about the man.

  71. joey
    July 16, 2008 at 3:15 am

    yeah natalie maines is a biotch. but whatever i dont care i just like his music. i dont know if he is shallow or a jerk or anything so i cant defend his persona, that means other people who dont know him like the peoiple in here cant call him anything cause they dont know him so lets call it a day and listen to the great song cause we listen to people cause they sound good not because of who they are

  72. joey
    July 16, 2008 at 3:16 am

    you can liek who you want just dont go around calling people names like this if you dont know them personally it makes you an insensitive creep so please respect people

  73. leeann
    July 16, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Joey, it’s always wise to follow one’s own advice in the same thread of dishing it out. You say to stop calling Toby/artists names, but the comment preceding it, which I believe is yours, calls a certain Dixie Chick a name. Likewise, “…it makes you an insensitive creep” seems like name calling to me as well. Interesting logic there… I guess I shouldn’t call *you* a hypocrite then?

  74. Chris N.
    July 16, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Punctuation is your friend.

  75. Stormy
    July 16, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Amanda: Steve Earle once told the BBC that Angry American was a bad song because it pandered to the worst elements of our humanity. Feel better about us and Natalie Maines now?

    Joey: Natalie Maines is about my age. We come from an era when Bitch was a compliment and not an insult. In fact, we had our own anthem to bitchiness written by Meredith Brooks.

  76. leeann
    July 16, 2008 at 8:51 am

    Stormy, I remember that song!:)

  77. Chris N.
    July 16, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Steve Earle said something bad about Toby Keith while in England? On (gasp) FOREIGN SOIL? Clearly a traitor.

  78. ccf
    July 16, 2008 at 9:28 am

    The music is overproduced, the lyrics are mediorce as his voice on this song. I agree with the thumbs down.

  79. stormy
    July 16, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Leeann: I swear, more and more I feel so blessed to have come of age as a girl in the 1990’s. It was such a much easier time than now.

    Chris: Hear him tell it, he’s been called a traitor and a patriot. And you can call him anything you want to.

  80. Chris N.
    July 16, 2008 at 10:59 am

    I call him “Steve.”

  81. leeann
    July 16, 2008 at 11:04 am

    Stormy, we must’ve “come of age” at around the same time. Was it really easier or is it that we’re not quite as tolerant as we get older, now that we’re somewhat removed from all of it?

  82. Dani
    July 16, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Hmm…I absolutely loved the song “She’s a Hottie” and was disappointed and baffled when it didn’t get much radio play. I love this new song, too, though I’m not usually a huge TK fan–execpt for my favorite song ever: “Big Blue Note!”

  83. stormy
    July 16, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Leeann: It was quite a lot easier because that whole alternative underground of smart, arty girls became mainstream. Look around, we had My So-Called Life; they have The Hills. We had Lilith Fair; they have The Pussy Cat Dolls. We had Sassy; they have no Sassy.
    I tutor girls high school age and it floors me how hard it is to make them realize that they can be more than objects that exist to entertain others. It literally does not occur to them that if some drunk guys yells “show us your tits” they don’t have to do that, that he is being an ass for asking them to do that and they are not being a bitch for not doing that. It takes more than a leap of faith for some of them that they can command the stage with something other than their sex appeal, that anything they have that isn’t sexual appeal is equally as important as their sex appeal. They can make the leap that you don’t want to go on Girls Gone Wild because the pictures may come back to haunt you, but they cannot make the leap that there is something disgustingly broken about giving some creepy pervert domain over your image clothed or naked. Its enough to break your heart sometimes.

  84. chelsey
    July 16, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    thank you joey!! :) u know what “get over it” and what ever isnt a good case and it may be lame, but it is the truth!! its a fricken song!!! ur rite i dont knw The big dog or his wife, but she doesnt act like that and from what i have heard they are the all american family in a sense. thats sooo stereotypical but whatever. u cant bash toby because u dont like him or a song, but then say nothing about songs like come a little closer. in my opinon most critics dont know what theyre talking about because everything they give bad ratings to i love and i KNOW im not alone.

  85. chelsey
    July 16, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    it is a song and nothing more to us. maybe theres history there for toby or bobby idk but who cares. i dont think any of you know toby and so u bashers need to get over it and thats the truth!! if u want to talk to me more on this email me at cuz i cant be on here all the time. im not making a case im stating the truth

  86. Chris N.
    July 16, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    What does his wife have to do with anything?

  87. hairandtoenails
    July 16, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Chelsey says, “I’m not making a case i’m stating the truth.” Be that as it may, if you wish for someone to accept your statement as “truth,” you normally have to provide convincing reasons to support your ‘truth;” in other words, you have to make a case that what you say is true.

    But “its a song and nothing more to us,” and “its a fricken song!!!” are far more insulting to Toby than anything anyone else has said here. The other posters – Stormy, CCF, Leeann, are at least showing Toby the respect of implying that what he does matters, that it has consequences, that his work isn’t so trivial that it doesn’t even deserve comment.

    But to say “its a song and nothing more…” seems to imply that songs aren’t even worth a minute or two of our thought. Songs are so trifling that we shouldn’t expect or even care if they contain good or bad lyrics, if they are socially responsible or destructive. To suggest that seems to suggest Toby Keith is a complete triviality, irrelevant to anything important, and I think that’s a pretty harsh insult to say to anyone – famous or not.

  88. Stormy
    July 16, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    MSN carried an article today about something that was “just a concert.”

  89. chelsey
    July 16, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    people are just to dang impossible. its just a song to the point of there is no reason to be offended by it. i write stories and stuff, do people find those offenseive? why? its simply one persons point of view and emotional release. where as it has relevance to where its more than just wourds. idk its hard to explain how it is that im feeling and trying to say idk people are just too literal

  90. Stormy
    July 16, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    No one finds any single one of his songs offensive (except the Angry American, but that’s another story). Its the overall waxy sexist build-up.

  91. Adrian
    July 17, 2008 at 2:04 am

    First, to Jim Malec:
    “3) “You try to write a quality song.”

    Been there, done that, still doing it.”

    LOL! That’s pretty funny, what songs have you written? Any that have gone to number one (besides in your parent’s hearts of course)? Any that have garnered you 48 million dollars in one year? Enough to comprise two greatest hit albums (and by greatest hits, i mean songs that the average person has heard of, let alone knows)? Somehow I doubt it.

    To Brady Vercher:
    I’ve only heard this song once, and that was live (at Craven this past weekend). Even though it was live, and I’d never heard about it, I got really hooked, Toby sounded awesome and I didn’t want the song to end. Just the way he sang it really pulled at my heart. And I completely agree with Michelle, I’d have to listen to it again but i swear he strongly indicated it was an affair (in which he was the guy a married woman was cheating with). At least that’s what I walked away thinking the song was about, but I’ll have to listen again for sure. In any event, i recomend to both Jim and Brady to listen to Toby’s song “The Critic”, but i suppose you have and that’s probably why you dont like him very much. No matter how much i hate songs and ppl who sing/write them, I’ve never claimed that I could do anything even close to that. Just because you dont like something, doesn’t mean it’s garbage. If you were talented enough to get yourself on the airwaves it might give you some lee-way, but until then…

    To Stormy:
    It sounds like you agree with Steve Earle that Courtesy of the Red White and Blue panders to the worst of our humanity. The slaughter of over two thousand innocent civilians demands retribution and justice. If the idea of retribution/revenge turns you off, think about justice. How could you call anybody orchestrating something like 9/11 then getting away with it just? Regardless of the emotion involved (whether vengeful or otherwise), justice and morality demand that something be done. If you were mugged in the street and your mugger beat you into a coma, would you not feel that the culprit should be sought out and brought to justice? Of course you would, you or your family would go to the police and demand that they seek out the mugger. The U.S.A. went to the closest thing there is to an international police force (the U.N.) and demanded the same kind of justice. As Al-Quaeda posseses considerably more firepower (therefore capable of offering much more resistance) than the average mugger, a military effort is required instead of a civilian police one. Toby’s song called for the U.S.A. to strike back at those responsible for the death of over 2000 civilians, and to strike hard. There is nothing inhumane or wrong about encouraging the military dismantling of a terrorist network such as Al-Quaeda. While you may find such expressions as “we’ll put a boot in your ass…” crude, it is necessary to look beyond the lyrics at the message beneath (if that’s what your concerned about). After 9/11 it is quite clear that the U.S.A. was severely threatened by Al-Quaeda, and while homeland security boosts are part of the answer, no fight can be won on the defense. Craving for the punishment of terrorists and murderers is not evidence of a lack of humanity, but rather evidence of a compassion for the innocent. Heartbreak over the loss of humanity in such a scale as 9/11 is caused by a deep love of your fellow man and there is nothing wrong with such heartbreak to be expressed as rightous anger towards those responsible. By the way I’m a Canadian, and couldn’t be prouder to be so, but I dont care if something like 9/11 happens in the U.S.A., Canada, or Africa (which it all too often does) because those responsible of such a blatant assault on innocent lives are the true epitomy of the worst of humanity. To accuse someone who demands punishment of such people of being inhumane is erroneous and short-sighted in the extreme.

    The point is, Toby Keith’s music is awesome. He blew the crowd (at least me anyways) away at Craven, and (living in Canada) I’ll consider myself very lucky indeed if I ever get to see him live again. I don’t have much to say about your accusations of sexism, except that I really enjoyed “She’s a Hottie” as a catchy, rockin’ tune that gets everyone in the party mood. As a 19 year-old who likes to go to bars now and again, it’s great to hear songs like that that just get everyone (especially the girls ironically)going. Sure, i never really admired the lyrics, but if it sounds good what more can you ask? I’ve heard ppl say that Harry Potter is aweful ‘cus J.K. Rowling has no literary style. Who cares? They’re the best book I’ve ever read, i dont give a rip how many complex literary devices she can pack into them. Likewise with Toby’s music (except for the fact that he has proven to be a very deep and complex person if you listen to the songs on his albums, with “Love me if you Can” and “She Never Cried in Front of Me” being the most recent singles that exemplify this). But back to sexism, if you listen to pre-“How do you Like Me Now”? you’ll find countless love songs (Blue Moon, Who’s That Man, Dream Walkin’, that duet with Sting, Wish Somehow I Didn’t Know Now, etc.) that convey a strong yearning for the love of a woman, with next to no emphasis on sex, and all of it on the fulfillment of having a loving woman as a companion and equal (or the pain of losing one, again with little bearing on the physical advantages of love and all of it on the emotional advantages of love). So, it isn’t quite as easy to dismiss Toby’s music as sexist and sexually-reliant as you might think. In any event, I think songs like Whiskey Girl, Stays in Mexico, and Who’s Your Daddy are among his best, even though I could see why you may consider them objectifying of women. All I can say is that I know lots of women who like those songs, and I return to the Harry Potter analogy. If you like the way it sounds, so what? Why does everything always have to be sappy love songs about the purity of love? Doesn’t that get boring and repetitive? Aren’t you ever in a mood where some good old rowdy sexually suggestive songs are more appealing? If they all sound good, so much the better.

  92. joey
    July 17, 2008 at 2:37 am

    i knew id be called a hypocryte as soon as i entered it haha about natalie. but what she said about the president, which i didnt mind haha, and toby just makes no sense. she sunk her career and she knew it as soon as she said it. you just dont say that stuff about other artists, thats what makes you a bitch, and if thats suppossed to be a compliment back in your day then you are one screwed up person, thank god i was only little in the 90’s otherwise id be screwed up too. i just like the song same with all his songs, if you dont like him because you THINK hes got a big ego then your ego is the real problem, thinking your too good for him. at least i give all music a chance first

  93. leeann
    July 17, 2008 at 6:40 am

    Stormy, I suppose you have a good point. In many ways, I think we did have it easier back then. Then again, I really doubt that we would have come even close to having a viable female candidate for president in those days. Likewise, much of what you describe as being heartbreaking today definitely existed rather prominently in the 90s as well. I’m just thinking that we’re more aware of it now that we’re old enough to have some perspective.

  94. stormy
    July 17, 2008 at 6:53 am

    Hilary’s campaign was one of the things that brought this into focus for me. You have a more educated, more experienced woman who brings to the table more carefully drawn up plans, and its still considered quite the affront that she seems to think she should have access to the job.

  95. stormy
    July 17, 2008 at 6:54 am

    Joey: How did she “sink” her career when both of her last cds sold more than Toby’s?

  96. leeann
    July 17, 2008 at 7:04 am

    Yes, but 18 million people disagreed. Would that have happened 15 years ago?

  97. chelsey
    July 17, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    DIXIE CHICKS SUCK! thanks to natalie all of their careers were over the second she opend her mouth! they were good until then

  98. Lynn
    July 17, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    “they were good until then” – LOL! Your opinion may have changed, but their music hasn’t changed at all. It’s just as good. And in many ways they’ve only gotten better. Stronger singers and players with a more diverse palette. Most importantly, they continue to grow and challenge themselves. Can Toby say the same? Has he progressed recently? That’s the problem most people have with his recent material. He’s regressing…rapidly. Be honest — Does this song and “She’s a Hottie” match up to his previous work?

  99. Stormy
    July 17, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Chelsey: Taking The Long Way was one of the top selling albums of its year.

  100. chelsey
    July 18, 2008 at 10:36 am

    idc in my opinion aftr that, they started to suck. its not just my opinion. i have only ever liked a few of their songs, and now they just suck flat out

  101. leeann
    July 18, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Interestingly, after the same incident, Toby’s music began to decline as well. Funny how that happened.

  102. leeann
    July 18, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    As a clarification to my admittedly flippant comment above, I don’t think the Dixie Chicks’ music has declined. I was just trying to make a point that since Toby’s gotten to be a superstar, which happened after 9/11, his music has not been as consistently good as I believe it once was.

  103. Peter
    July 18, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Stormy, if all you had ever written in your life was that one post (July 16, 2008 at 1:55 pm), your life was not lived in vain. I love you for that. I was reminded of how much things have changed while visiting Kevin’s site and watching this clip from the PBS Women of Country special from the 90’s:

    Oh and Chelsey – a good discussion generally involves a lot more than “Nyeah-nyeah-nyeah-nyeah-nyeah”.

  104. Adrian
    July 18, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    So someone does leave a message containing some good discussion and everyone ignores it.

  105. Jt
    July 18, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    I Love this song. Didn’t even read other reviews, they don’t matter. Great job Toby

  106. Brady Vercher
    July 18, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    Adrian, contrary to what you may believe, I don’t dislike Toby Keith. Rather than debate the points I brought up in the review, you say things like “just the way he sang it really pulled at my heart,” and try to discredit me personally. That’s not what I’d call a “message containg some good discussion.” If you’d like to contest my interpreation of the song itself, feel free to do so, but also notice I didn’t disparage Toby in my evaluation of the song.

    If you don’t mind, could you also fill us in on the “affair” interpretation?

  107. Stormy
    July 19, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Adrian: The subject of Toby Keith’s Angry American isn’t the problem, its the way he dealt with the subject matter. Take Natalie’s advice and compare it to the amazing The Rising. Bruce Springsteen wrote an entire album of good songs about 9-11, and Toby Keith could write won. Actualy, it would be more accurate to say he DIDN’T write one, because Toby can write good songs. He just chooses to stick with this crap most of the time.

  108. Brady Vercher
    July 19, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Stormy, what exactly is wrong with “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue?” You’re acting like it’s a forgone conclusion that it panders to the worst of humanity just because Steve Earle said so, but I don’t think it’s quite that clear. If it’s Toby’s behavior during the little feud he had with the Dixie Chicks, then whatever, I’d just like to know what’s wrong with the song.

  109. Stormy
    July 19, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Peter: Thank you.

  110. Stormy
    July 19, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Brady: Other than the “every cliche we can squeeze into it” chorus, the whole lack of specifics and thought that goes along with putting a boot up your ass. Then you have to get into the whole “this big dog will fight if you rattle his cage”–obviously designed for a cheap pop cheer from the audience, but not backed up by anything from Toby’s life experiences. The whole song comes off like so much disengenous bravado (a “How Do You Terroist Type People’s Like Me Now-if you will) that the much better written American Soldier comes off almost like a Mel Culpa to the actual troops.

  111. Brady Vercher
    July 19, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    I think the cliche argument is subjective at best and when you start using patriotic imagery, it might come across as a little cliche, but it has nothing to do with the worst of humanity.

    The “big dog will fight” line reminds me of the “sleeping giant” quote by the Japanese Admiral when they bombed Pearl Harbor, so it could definitely be a little deeper than a cheap pop cheer. I don’t see the need for it to be backed up by something in Toby’s past, especially if it is a sort of historical reference.

    Again, the “disingenuous bravado” argument is completely subjective and considering his father’s service and his dedication to performing for the troops, I’m inclined to disagree. I do agree that “American Soldier” is better written, but it’s a bit baffling to call it a Mea Culpa. I don’t ever remember hearing the troops publicly deriding the song in any way.

    So how exactly does it pander to the worst of humanity? It’d be pretty hard to determine something to be worse than what happened on 9/11 as well, so that just seems like a stupid, sensationalist quote anyways.

  112. Stormy
    July 19, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Except that the sleeping giant wasn’t already a line of t-shirts by the time that Pearl Harbor happened.

    It panders to the worst in humanity because it encourages us to bomb first and ask questions later. It basically has no problem with 9-11 so long as it is us dropping bombs on someone rather than vice versa, which is not a problem per sea, except that introspection into the causes of 9-11 and our role on the world stage that set it up is the only thing that will stop 9-11. This song only cares about making sure someone dies in revenge for the act not for anything bigger or more honorable than that. It makes the very act of going out and blowing someone up in vengance the heroic act. This song doesn’t care about the soldiers who have to fight and the affects this will have on them. Its the ultimate Garrett Trooper (Barry Sadlin) song about the baddest bad ass to never see action.

  113. Stormy
    July 19, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    As for the quote it was part of a much larger interview. Steve, rather accurately, likened it to the postured speech of a pre-main event wrestler.

  114. Brady Vercher
    July 19, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    You have to willfully interpret the song to arrive at those conclusions. Anyways, the Dark Knight is about to start, so I gotta go.

  115. Stormy
    July 19, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    How does one interpret the song to be about something other than vengance?

  116. Brady Vercher
    July 19, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Nice try, but I didn’t suggest the song wasn’t about vengeance. My willful interpretation remark was meant in regards to your interpretation that the song encourages bombing first and asking questions later. It doesn’t say bomb anybody, who the hell cares, it says “justice will be served.” Nothing in the song suggests that it has no problem with 9/11 and doesn’t care about the soldiers in the fight. That’s what I meant by willful. The song addresses a justifiable anger, and a certain pride in one’s country–it’s not meant to be self flagellating and introspective.

  117. Stormy
    July 19, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Well then,revenge first and investigation later. The song has a huge poblem with 9-11, just not the other 9-11s that happen to other people everyday. It does not take into account how few of those we serve vengance on will have anything to do with the 9-11 attacks. When the World Trade Center was bombed the first time President Clinton arrested the teorrists, tried them and put them in jail. This song wants no part of that sort of justice. It merely wants vengance.
    Revenge is, after all, one of the lesser aspects of humanity.

  118. joey
    July 20, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    his career hasnt declined hes still putting out great songs all the time. not all the songs can be number one and he keeps hitting into the top 10 with almost all of his songs and i think that is not a decline in a career

  119. hairandtoenails
    July 20, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    I disagree Joey. Toby’s commerical success has declined. Between 2001 and 2004 virtually every single he released went to #1. But between 2005 to 2008, only a few went to #1 and several didn’t even go top ten.

    Also, while Toby used to sell double or even triple platinum, he is now selling gold and platinum.

    Toby is still doing well, better than most, but he isn’t as good as he once was, at least commercially speaking.

  120. leeann
    July 20, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    I agree that his career did not decline. I feel that the quality of his songs have though.

  121. joey
    July 20, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    i heard on the radio that last year toby made 46 million dollars, holy shit, thats 11 million more than tim mcgraw and 8 million more than oprah so hes definitely not declining. hes still selling bunch of commercial shit. you cant judge by record sales, people download which i think is wrong. trust me hes not losing a step

  122. joey
    July 20, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    and i looked it up. 20 million almost more than natalie maines in the dixie chicks so ha

  123. joey
    July 20, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    since 2005, hairandtoenails, he had 4 songs that didnt reach top ten, but they were still 15, 11, 13. and the one his daughter wanted to do with him, mockingbird, got 27 just a thing for his daughter. others were 8, 1, 5, 3, 2, 3, and 1. and hes still striking in canada. his success is among the best. out of all his songs he averages getting to 8. ha most peoples average cant even break 20. so his career has declined in his success but in country music he hasnt at all

  124. hairandtoenails
    July 20, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    I absolutely agree, Joey, that Toby Keith is still doing very well on radio. Just not as well. From (2000 to early 2004)”How Do You…” to “Whiskey Girl” Toby released 13 singles, and 11 of them hit #1. From “Stays in Mexico” to “Hottie,” (2004-2008) there were 12 singles, and only 2 hit #1.

    During the first 4 year period, virtually everything Toby did went #1 (85%); during the second 4 year period, only 16% hit #1. Thats a pretty big change for Toby.

    Obviously he is still doing great, he’s still one of the format’s biggest stars, but he has slowed down a bit at radio.

  125. Adrian
    July 21, 2008 at 3:13 am

    Brady, sorry about the personal jibes in my post, such behaviour is unnecessary and immature. If I was to simply read the lyrics of the song, I would not really disagree with anything you said in your review. However, I guess what I was trying to say is that if a song sounds good enough to ellicit a positive emotional response from the listener, then such details as “shifts in perspective and changes in tense” become irrelevant. However, I suppose such things are harder to ignore and easier to pick up on if the listener is a song-writer themself. About the affair thing, I looked the lyrics up and you’re right. There was no affair. Hearing the song only once (and live) it’s hard to catch all the words, but the line “she’s someone else’s wife” is what i remembered. But I agree he was referring to his ex-wife’s re-marriage to someone else.
    PS: The Dark Knight was incredible, eh?

  126. Adrian
    July 21, 2008 at 3:15 am

    Stormy: The war in Afghanistan is being fought exclusively against the Taliban. Of course, there is only a handful of those people who were directly involved in 9/11 but all of them support the same cause, and the realization of that cause through such acts (the killing of civilians in order to intimidate your foe). Tragically, but also inevitably, there are civilian casualties in Afghanistan. There is in every war. War is terrible, but I think you would agree that sometimes it is necessary. WWII is the example that everyone I’ve talked to agrees with. You make the claim (or at least indication) that few of those we “serve vengeance” on have anything to do with 9/11. Well, since it’s the Taliban we’re fighting and killing, I’d say that’s a pretty baseless and whimsical statement. If it’s the dying Afghan civilians you’re referring to, well, they are not our targets. We’re not shooting at them, but the fight takes place literally in their back yard. As I said, casualties occur in every war. That doesn’t mean anyone is trying to kill them or “serve them vengeance”. However, are you aware that the Taliban do send suicide bombers into Afghan refugee camps? They deliberately kill their countrymen in order to spread chaos. Yet Toby Keith’s song promotes inhumanity? I honestly don’t see how you could deem a retalitory strike against Al-Quaeda (exactly what is being promoted in the song under debate) as inhumane. I guess you don’t exactly say that, but you seem to be condeming it (or at least Toby’s support of it, as expressed in the Angry American) as an act of vengeance. Yes, the justifiable and righteous anger that arose from 9/11 does demand retribution. But I fail to see how that negates the justness or humanity of punishing those responsible (and their supporters) of 9/11. That’s what Courtesy of the Red White and Blue is about. Punishing those responsible for the death of over 2000 civilians. Yes, Toby Keith advocates this through the use of bombs and battles. But guess what? Bombs and guns are essential to serving justice in this instance (and in many others, such as WWII). If Bill Clinton could just go over to Afghanistan, round up everyone in Al-Quaeda from bin Laden downwards, put them in handcuffs, and fly them back to the USA (or the Hague, wherever was agreed upon) to stand trial, that’s what would be done. Toby Keith would be happier than anybody (he voted for Clinton twice by the way). But it’s not that easy. Osama bin Laden and his boys have lots of firepower, so it makes it extremely difficult (impossible, frankly) to apprehend them without the use of military force. Toby’s song takes this as a given, which it is. A perfect world would not require the enforcement of justice in any form either through military (war), police, or even the establishment of laws. However, such a world will never exist.

    As for discovering the causes of 9/11 through introspection, yes, that is ALSO essential. But why should one be done without the other? Toby’s song only deals with how perpetrators of 9/11 should be dealt with, it does not in any way negate the need or importance of contemplating how/why 9/11 occured. They are two separate issues, and Toby chooses to focus on one of them in the Angry American. If I heard a song promoting the mediation and introspection on the causes of 9/11 and what role the States had in them, I would not say, “Oh, okay, introspection now and justice later! Let’s sit around and talk while those responsible for this atrocity plan more attacks on civilians, consolidate power and support, and sit around unpunished for their heinous crimes!!”. This would be a silly reaction of willful interpretation. Just becasue that song did not address the punishment of the perpetrators, that doesn’t mean it supported the notion that there should be no punishment. Whereas your reaction to Courtesy of the Red White and Blue is exactly the same, except you’re saying, “Oh, okay, bombing now and talking later! Let’s just kill everyone to satisfy our anger without taking a look at what caused this!” Likewise, as I said before, just because TK focuses on the need for the perpetrators to be brought to justice for their deeds, that doesn’t mean he is advocating the idea that there should be no discussion or contemplation to provide insight as to what caused 9/11. That is, to use Brady’s words, willful interpretation.

  127. stormy
    July 21, 2008 at 6:57 am

    The Taliban are wrong. Toby’s song is also wrong. One doesn’t make the other right.

    The reason why we might want to hurry up with the introspection is that it would answer a few questions about 9-11:
    1. Where did the Taliban come from?
    2. Who sponsored the Taliban?
    3. What happened when that sponsor dropped the Taliban?
    4. What happened the last time we got involved in an ill-concieved and poorly thought out war in Afghanistan? (see questions 1-3).

  128. leeann
    July 21, 2008 at 9:11 am


    Thanks for clearing that up. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what line made people think there was an affair. At least I get where the mistake came from.:)

  129. Adrian
    July 21, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Okay Stormy, “Toby’s song is wrong”. Very convincing. haha, it’s obvious you’re not interested in reading or responding to my long-winded posts, so i suppose this will be my last.

    To respond to your most recent post though, I don’t pretend to know very much about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980’s. But I’ll give this a shot with what limited knowledge I have. I don’t know how or when the Taliban originated, but I doubt the United States created them. My understanding of the issue is that the States supplied and sponsored the Afghan rebels to fight the Soviets (to address your 2nd question). Turns out a certain portion of those rebels evolved into the contemporary Taliban. I would have to do extensive research into the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, of Afghanistan itself, and the Cold War in general in order to pass judgement on the appropriateness of the USA’s involvement. However, I agree with you that once the States made a commitment to support the rebels they should not have terminated that commitment as soon as the Soviets withdrawled. Yet that is far from the only cause, and maybe not even the primary cause, of 9/11. The Gulf War was a factor too. In any event, the current situation in Afghanistan is drastically different than that in the 1980’s (but your 4th question implies otherwise). I disagree that the current mission is “ill-concieved and poorly thought out”, it is sanctioned by the UN (not that they haven’t had their fair share of bungles) and spear-headed by NATO. I think the UN (despite their shortcomings) is alot better at thinking these things out than either of us.
    9/11 aside, I don’t think an international effort to break the Taliban’s tyrannical hold over the Afghan people is a bad thing. Where the Taliban came from, and the USA’s role in their creation, are questions that must be answered. But those answers don’t change the fact that right now there is a need for the erradication of the Taliban. Many Canadians are growing weary of the war, but the Afghan government is begging us to persevere. Those officials know what it is like to live under the Taliban. The questions you raise are essential to determining how NATO conducts it’s mission to erradicate the Taliban, but the answers to your questions don’t affect the need to erradicate the Taliban.

  130. Cindy2
    July 22, 2008 at 5:28 am

    Adrian: I wish I had time for a more well-thought out post, but thank you for making some good points. Stormy: we couldn’t be more opposed politically, but I do try to read your posts with an open mind. But you lost me by suggesting that we had something to do with causing 9/11. If we would have gone after the WTC bombers in the 90’s like they were war criminals, rather than legal suspects, that may have prevented this. We can’t run our foreign policy to avoid pissing off anti-Semitic terrorists that would still rather kill all of us no matter what we do. I’m not saying the US is perfect. Far from it. I’m saying that we could never compromise with those people; it would be suicidal.

  131. Stormy
    July 22, 2008 at 8:00 am

    Adrian: The song is not wrong, its cheap.

    Back in the 1980’s and early 90’s we funded the revolution agaist the Soviets in Russia, sending money to a group of people led by a guy named Ossama Bin Ladin. This group became the Taliban (and, of course, al-Queda). Then again, this was just after we were supporting a new political leader in the Middle East–his name was Sadam Hussein.

  132. Matt B.
    July 22, 2008 at 9:19 am


    Toby Keith is most likely a victim of the new ‘singles’ world that’s evolved out of iTunes and illegal downloading. Those two things have combined to cannibalizing record sales. I’m surprised they just don’t sell ‘albums’ as full downloads w/o allowing single song downloads.

  133. Sarah
    July 22, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    I disagree completely with this article. I think this song is very good and very emotional. I think it is actually one of Toby’s best and I fell in love with it the moment I heard it. This song is awesome!

  134. Tina
    July 25, 2008 at 7:57 am

    I actually love this song! It helped me to realise that there was a problem in my relationship! And, since I wasn’t showing any emotion in front of him, only behind closed doors, things were only going to get worse! And, if I wanted him to change, I needed to myself! I didn’t want to loose him, so I had to show emotion! So, all in all, it helped me to save my relationship, and it’s a great song… :)

  135. Dulce
    July 26, 2008 at 9:22 am

    I absolutely love this song! Its one of the best he has. Hopefully it will send out a positive message to those in a relatioship. This song may just be a little wake-UP call to value and love those with you now, not when they are gone…..

  136. Curtis Beckman
    August 1, 2008 at 11:28 am

    I love toby’s song, it hit me right in the heart as soon as I heard it!
    His singing was awsome and the melody and lyric are too!

  137. VA
    August 18, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Toby Keith is a great singer and a great entertainer. I personally think this song is great, but everyone is going to have a difference of opinion. Everyone is going to relate to a song differently, it all depends on your point of view. The fact remains that Toby Keith is an established artist, who continues to release a wide range of tunes that cover a large range of emotions. His songs can be greatly entertaining, but he also has the ability to release great tunes that also tell a great story and have the ability to affect people in their every day lives. So regardless if you like this song or not, you can not deny Toby Keith’s talents. For all of those who are not too fond of this song, his next song might be your favorite, either way, I would love to see his critics create something better.

  138. sha
    August 19, 2008 at 2:59 pm


  139. Pam
    September 11, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    Ireally like Toby Keith’s music. I think he is so great and his song’s are one of a kind. He is also a great DAD and a movie actor. I would love to meet him and spend time listening to him sing. He is like a rebel. Ithink that Toby is a wonderful person andto give the way he give’s in his life is just wonderful. Thanks

  140. bailey
    October 12, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    toby keith is an amazing artist. those of you who dont like it, its just because you cant relate to it. chill.

  141. ilovecountrymusic
    October 28, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    I agree with annie. I loved both She’s a Hottie and She Never Cried in Front of me. She’s a Hottie is fun but She Never Cried in Front of me is and emotional song. Whoever doesn’t like these songs are just plain weird. Feel free to disagree.

  142. Cole
    December 19, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    I have listened to Mr. Keith disolve HIMSELF into a run of the muck Performer. Anymore there is not that much that sets him (or many others for that matter)off from the sounds of Hoobastank, and Nickleback, or 3 Doors Down. the only significant difference is the “genre”, in which it plays, and the occasional fiddle. I enjoy Toby’s earlier albumns, and still listen to them often. However, I find myself passing up his C.D.s in the stores because now that you ..”have heard on, you’ve heard them all”.

    There is one song in particular that has caught my attention lately though, and I heard it on BFMH. I think it is called “Just might need a hero tonight”..(I think.) For some reason that song has caught my attention. It reminds me more of his earlier ballads, that had meaning, and soul, and actual emotion, not “Financial” Emotion.

    I am not a music critic by any means, and will never be, I just call the kettle black. Sorry if I offended anyone.

  143. kadjgh
    January 16, 2009 at 8:29 am

    This song is beautiful and honest at the same time. Toby is one of the creative masters that can reach into all areas of songwriting, If you are too simple to see that I am sure this song does not appeal to you.

  144. Guy
    January 16, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Toby Keith definitely has a huge ego; and definitely has been putting out sub-par or repeat-yourself stuff for a while now. But this does not mean he is not a very talented artist / songwriter. He is an excellent songwriter and a very strong singer. This is just a product of him being “totally” in charge of what he records and releases — while insulated in his own world apparently surrounded by “yes men” and very few outside writers.

    It has tarnished his previous success somewhat. But he has had a great career; and most likely WILL make a few more great records before he’s done.

  145. melinda
    December 8, 2009 at 11:44 am

    well its not like ur gonna answer back and tht reli sucks …..i went to all he concerts you had since i was born!!!! reliii my mom took me when i couldnt even open my eyes!!!! ur songs go with me….you might hear tht alot!!! but truley it does…and since i dnt have an ipod or anything like tht i always request ur songs!! i do have the first all the cds acept for the last one cause i dnt have enough money yet….im in schol gtg …..GO REDNECKS!!!! (GETR DONE)

Tagged In This Article

// //

Current Discussion

  • Paige: Oh damn. :( I never commented here and I haven't been listening to any music at all since Thanksgiving (it …
  • Dave W.: Just read the news here. Will miss E145 very much - love this site. All the best to you Juli …
  • Leeann Ward: Oh, dang! This is real. Farewell to the most generous, informative, quality, intelligent, consistent, ethical country music blog! You …
  • bll: Thanks Juli for all the great articles and information; you'll be missed by me and I suss several others. Best …
  • Both Kinds of Music: I hope people appreciate the irony that one of the best "Americana" albums is titled Metamodern Sounds in COUNTRY Music.
  • Barry Mazor: I would not rule out that possibility..There's a different set of voters involved..
  • Dana M: Does anyone else think that Brandy Clark actually has a good chance of winning since this isn't a country awards …
  • Juli Thanki: UPDATE: Brandy Clark got a Best New Artist nom. BEST AMERICANA ALBUM: Rosanne Cash -- The River & The Thread John Hiatt -- Terms …
  • luckyoldsun: Glenn Campbell is great and I'd love to see him get an award, but the words of that song may …
  • Casey Penn: Juli, it was an honor to write for you here on You're good at what you do, and The …

Recently Reviewed Albums

  • walkerandthetexasdangers3
  • deadmanstown
  • tom t hall storytellers
  • paulthorntooblessed
  • duhksbeyondtheblue
  • kelleymickwee
  • sandrarhodes
  • candi staton