Big Dog Daddy (2007) Toby Keith may be the "Big Dog Daddy" of the title tune, and you know that brash, braggy song is going to sound great in… 2007-06-12 Toby Keith Country
Music Review

Big Dog Daddy (2007)

MR. SOFTY Tough guy Toby Keith proves he's the man...by letting his guard down on Big Dog Daddy
Image credit: Danny Clinch/Corbis Outline
MR. SOFTY Tough guy Toby Keith proves he's the man...by letting his guard down on Big Dog Daddy
EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: Jun 12, 2007; Lead Performance: Toby Keith; Genre: Country

Toby Keith may be the ''Big Dog Daddy'' of the title tune, and you know that brash, braggy song is going to sound great in a tour-date arena. But Big Dog Daddy, the first album he's produced himself, is also his most intimate, and Keith has found a way to let his sensitive side show without wimping out. To some folks, Keith's image — the anti-Dixie Chick, the truculent rabble-rouser — gets in the way of the music. Yet I don't know how anyone could listen to the delicate, high-lonesome croon he applies to ''I Know She Hung the Moon,'' about a comfy but crackling romantic relationship, and doubt the guy's artistic sincerity or his chops.

If his Southern-rock-riffed power-country songs like ''Big Dog Daddy'' and ''Hit It'' have a certain Hank Williams Jr. bombast, Keith's head, heart, and nether region seem more fully committed on other songs here — in the clever wordplay and even more cleverly sung tunes such as ''Wouldn't Wanna Be Ya'' and ''High Maintenance Woman.'' His power-ballad single is the hell-yeah-I'm-earnest ''Love Me if You Can.'' But the fact is, the sexiest song on the album — ''Burnin' Moonlight'' — is about a hot monogamous relationship. All of this suggests Keith understands that beyond its default mode of rowdiness, country music is the soundtrack for adulthood, its pleasures as well as its disillusionments. A-
Download This: Hear ''I Know She Hung the Moon''

Originally posted Jun 05, 2007 Published in issue #939 Jun 15, 2007 Order article reprints