Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Album Review & Giveaway: Toby Keith - Bullets In the Gun

It's bragging time - This is my 100th post on the 1-to-10.  To commemorate the hundred-post milestone, I'm going to do a little something for you readers who have made writing this blog so darn fun.  I have three copies of Toby Keith's new album Bullets In the Gun - courtesy of Universal Music Group Distribution - to give away to three lucky readers.

One characteristic of this new album that any Toby fan will instantly recognize is the absence of any politically-charged anthems.  But while Toby does not voice his political opinions, his sense of humor is made well evident in songs like "Get Outta My Car" and the lead single "Trailerhood" - The former requires a full appreciation for Toby's humor; the latter misses the mark completely.  In addition, Toby's macho bravado resurfaces in the songs "Is That All You Got" and "Think About You All the Time."  But while we do get a good look at Toby's playful side, we are also reminded of his strong skills as a balladeer, with "Kissin' in the Rain" being one of the finest displays, albeit slightly overproduced.

On this album, Toby's vocals are reliably strong, and well-suited to the material.  The album has one notable flaw in that the production has a recurring tendency to get in the way of the songs.  While there are a few solidy produced tracks, with the catchy "Somewhere Else" being one of the best, a driving drumbeat acts as an overwhelming distraction on songs like "Ain't Already Broke" and the trucker tune "Drive In On Home."

Bullets In the Gun does not visit a particularly wide variety of lyrical themes within its ten tracks.  The most prominent theme is that of a man dealing with a breakup, which often takes a witty and snarky turn.  The album ultimately falls short of being a completely tight and cohesive collection.  But thanks to its prominent featuring of Toby's personality, his biggest fans will still find plenty to love here.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)

WIN IT!  To enter the contest to win Toby's new album, just leave a comment below telling what your favorite Toby Keith song is, and why that particular song is your favorite.  When you leave your comment, send me an e-mail (ben.countryreview@gmail.com) identifying which comment is yours.  That way I can contact you to let you know if you win.  But in order for me to get the album to you, I have to get that e-mail first, so don't forget to send it!  Eligible comments must be submitted before Saturday, October 16.  Winners will be chosen at random.