I make absolutely no excuses for finding total pleasure in Toby Keiths take-no-prisoners, buck-the-system, good-time-Charlie tunes. Hes a grown man who sings grown-man songs, and if any proof is needed, I suggest turning up the volume of his new album, Drinks After Work, right from the first track, the sublimely later-era ZZ Top-esque dirt-rocker Shut Up and Hold On.
The title track and Ill Probably Be Out Fishin are a pair of tropically jaunty, easy-listening aces that wouldnt be out of place on a Jimmy Buffett album, which makes sense considering how much collaborative work the two have been doing as of late.
Other standouts include Before We Knew They Were Good, Keiths archetypical take on the storytelling songs of hard times and harder men, as well as Call a Marine, his usual well-meaning pandering to the armed forces.
My favorite track, however? The boogie-woogie sleaze of Show Me What Youre Working With is something I cant wait to hear the next time Im in a backwoods strip club at 2 a.m., getting into a bar fight with a Kid Rock wannabe over the heart of a methed-up dancer. And I feel no guilt in admitting that Im totally looking forward to that. Louis Fowler