Maybe it's just the times but Toby Keith has had drinking on his mind, calling his 2011 album Clancy's Tavern, which rode up the charts on the back of the boozy hit "Red Solo Cup" and now, for its sequel, Keith serves up Hope on the Rocks, an album where he finds his way to "Cold Beer Country" and complains that he hasn't had a drink all day. He also admits that "I Like Girls Who Drink Beer," the confession coming as no great surprise and, truth be told, there are no great surprises throughout Hope on the Rocks. Keith has whittled the album down to his basics, finding space for only three love songs -- the heartbroken "Haven't Seen the Last of You," "Missed You Just Right," which has airs of an arena-country crossover, and the bittersweet "You Ain't Alone," all arriving in the back half of the album, helping to accentuate the album's party-ready atmosphere.
It’s a fairly well-kept secret that Toby Keith’s singing and songwriting abilities rival those of just about any act in contemporary country music. The perplexing thing is that Keith himself is the one most responsible for keeping the secret. For at least the past decade, he’s led with singles that present a wisecracking, fight-picking persona to the world, a few of them championing his version of patriotism and many others championing his formula for having a good ol’ boy good time, copious amounts of beer being the most important ingredient.
NEIL YOUNG AND CRAZY HORSE “Psychedelic Pill” (Reprise) In Neil Young’s new memoir, “Waging Heavy Peace” (Blue Rider Press), he describes his band Crazy Horse as a “window to the cosmic world” where “songs graze like buffalo. The herd is still there, and the plains are endless.” In another chapter he adds, “Any ride on the Horse must not have a destination.” And it’s clear from the get-go — a nearly 28-minute song called “Driftin’ Back” — that Mr. Young and Crazy Horse will take all the time they want on their new album, “Psychedelic Pill.” Crazy Horse — Ralph Molina on drums, Billy Talbot on bass and, since 1975, Frank (Poncho) Sampedro on rhythm guitar — is Mr.