35MPHTownAlbum35 MPH Town (Show Dog Records) is Toby Keith’s twentieth studio album. Singer from Clinton (OK), who better than anyone else, embodies the spirit of America, generous with others, full of good intentions, but also strongly patriotic and aware of her own strength. I like Toby Keith’s style. No pragmatism, no beating around the bush or false hypocrisy. Bread is bread and wine is wine, whoever disagrees, well, that’s their problem. His songs, whether about love, his country or of everyday life, with its petty miseries and it’s great miracles, are just like him. No half measures, either you love him or you hate him. As I said, I like the style, I like the character and I especially like the music of Toby Keith. Even this “35 MPH Town” is really good. Produced by Toby himself, in collaboration with Bobby Pinson, this album is probably the most traditional and country sounding of recent years.
Tracks like “Haggard,Hank and Her” or “What She Left Behind” are real “tear-in-your-beer country songs” full of steel guitars and slow-dancing. The opening track “Drunk Americans” (written by Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally and Bob DiPiero) is a true slice of life whist “I Drink Every Time I Fall In Love” has a very swingy sound to it. Jimmy Buffett appears in “Sailboat For Sale”, and “35 MPH Town” (the title track from the CD which was chosen as a single) is a cynical and realistic portrait of the quiet life of a small town. The album’s closing tracks are “Good Gets Here”, “Rum Is The Reason”, “10 Foot Pole” and “Beautiful Stranger”. Again, an album without compromise: either you love it or you hate it. (Gianluca Sitta)