Sep
12

Song Review – Toby Keith’s “I Like Girls That Drink Beer”

September 12, 2012 - By Trigger  //  Reviews  //  41 Comments

Apparently The Ford Truck Man Toby Keith is tired of self-respect.

At some point, maybe when his previous album Bullets in The Gun was awarded the dubious distinction of being the lowest-selling #1 debut album of all time, he decided to screw it all and start making stupid songs. Bullets In The Gun didn’t give Toby Keith even one Top 10 hit; the first time that happened in his 14-album career. So Keith, being the business-savvy artist that he is, searched for the popular trends and decided that stupid songs about beer were the rule of the day, giving rise to songs like “Beers Ago” and the ode to the onset of idiocracy “Red Solo Cup.”

Well now he’s back with a new single “I Like Girls That Drink Beer,” a piece of trend-chasing laundry list cliche crap that plays off the same class warfare and cultural line drawing that dogs most of country radio today. It also sets a historic precedent for hypocrisy. The song and chorus start off…

Bye bye baby I’m leaving
You can keep your mansion and your money

Oh Toby, you seem to have forgotten that you live in one of the biggest mansions country music can boast, and are the highest paid person in country music, making more money than even Sailor Twift. Keith banked a whopping $50 million dollars last year according to Forbes and owns a vast business empire that includes his own major label in Show Dog Universal, his “I Love This Bar & Grill” restaurant chain, and massive endorsement deals with Ford and Mezcal beverages.

And as for the mansion? Check out the particulars of Oklahoma’s Chateau Toby from a People Magazine cover story:

“(It) includes an 8,900-sq.-ft. main house featuring a state-of-the-art theatre room and kitchen and a 2,500-sq.-ft. cabana with spaces for swimming, relaxing and grilling. The property also includes a well-stocked lake where the family can fish for bass, perch and catfish or just relax out on the dock and watch water shoot up from the lake-fed fountain…His racquetball court, where he and Tricia, who have been married 27 years, can compete against their three kids…”We can play at midnight if we want to,” says Keith. “Everybody in the family is good.”

And Toby says in “I Like Girls That Drink Beer” that he doesn’t want to go to the “ball in your chariot” but check out the specs and inventory of his carriage house:

…an eight-car, two-story, 6,000-sq.-ft. garage with space for his three Harley-Davidson motorcycles, a black Ford Expedition limousine and his prized collector cars-a ’69 Mach 1 Ford Mustang, a ’72 Oldsmobile Cutlass, a ’77 Pontiac Trans Am (“It’s a Smokey and the Bandit car,” Keith says) and a ’63 Chevy Impala.

And none of this includes his 300-acre horse ranch or million-dollar mansion in Nashville.

Beyond that, this song is a vapid pile of checklist countryisms.

  • Beer – Check!
  • Girls – Check!
  • Trucks- Check!
  • Two lane and/or dirt road – Check!
  • Honky Tonks – Check!
  • People from the city and people with money suck – Check and check!
  • Cornbread and/or fried chicken – Oops, missed one Toby!

And watching the video, I can’t tell if Toby likes girls that drink beer, or girls that haven’t said no to a man since puberty. There’s more shots of silicone in the video than it took to remodel Toby Keith’s palatial master bathroom. And though on the surface it may seem this song is targeted at men, this is a song about girls, and for girls, because that’s the last demographic that actually buys music. Hypocrite or not, Toby Keith is a mad genius when it comes to marketing and he hits on all marketing cylinders in “I Like Girls That Drink Beer”. All of the close-up shots of people in the crowd are of girls, except for the one with the porcupine-looking dude with the paint-on tan on the left. Now how “country” does he look?

The truth is sonically “I Like Girls That Drink Beer” really isn’t that bad, and comparative to most of the songs on country radio, it’s pretty country. The chord progression is engaging, the structure is good in the way it starts on the chorus, and I’ll be damned if you can’t even hear some fiddle and steel guitar in the mix. Too bad he wasted it on such a hypocritical theme.

I don’t want to belittle Toby Keith’s wealth. Congratulations to him for living his version of the American dream. The problem is with the hypocrisy, how he uses this song as a tool of class envy and stereotype while living the very life he is besmirching. No, performers don’t always have to live the exact life that they sing about. This is an unfair requirement that most artists can’t live up to. But when you’re singing derogatory lyrics with the intent of downgrading the very thing that your life embodies simply because it appeals to certain trends and demographics, a big line is crossed.

Being country means being yourself and being honest. And by belittling the very life that he lives, Toby Keith makes an embarrassment of himself, and of country music.

Two guns down.

41 Comments to “Song Review – Toby Keith’s “I Like Girls That Drink Beer””

  • heh. is that guy fieri? i believe it is.

       1 likes

  • I think that guy in the close up is Guy Fieri from the Food Network.

       1 likes

  • I thought it might be him, though I only have a foggy recollection of that dude as some semi-famous guy riding this ridiculous wave of popularity with short order cooks on reality TV. Didn’t know his name. I really thought it was some other urban doucher trying to rock his look.

       0 likes

  • He looks like he could belong to Rascal Fags.

       3 likes

    • He would probably take that as a compliment.

         0 likes

  • “The truth is sonically “I Like Girls That Drink Beer” really isn’t that bad, and comparative to most of the songs on country radio, it’s pretty country. The chord progression is engaging, the structure is good in the way it starts on the chorus, and I’ll be damned if you can’t even hear some fiddle and steel guitar in the mix.”

    If that’s the case, then why give this song two guns down? Shouldn’t songs be judged based on both lyrics and music?

       3 likes

    • That’s a good question and I thought very hard on this. I almost gave it 1 3/4 guns down, and then decided the hypocrisy and stereotyping in this song over-rode its sonic strength. Just like an album that has flaws but still gets two guns up because it’s just so good, important, and/or influential, I have to take into consideration the entire aspect.

      At the same time, however much I hate this song, I would be lying if I said the music wasn’t decent.

         1 likes

  • I agree with Eric on this. The song isnt that bad. I do agree with a lot of articles on this website this one I have a hard time agreeing with. And also he lives in a house that size because he is very successful and has invested his money very well. You cant blame him for that. Thats what America is founded on. Hardworking people who have the ability to become very wealthy. And he has done just that. Toby Keith is one of the people who still write songs that are somewhat country. He is the last person people should be bashing.

       3 likes

    • “…he lives in a house that size because he is very successful and has invested his money very well. You cant blame him for that. Thats what America is founded on. Hardworking people who have the ability to become very wealthy. And he has done just that.

      From the review above:

      “I don’t want to belittle Toby Keith’s wealth. Congratulations to him for living his version of the American dream.

      But this is the problem Patrick, the lyrics and theme of “I Like Girls That Drink Beer” belittle wealth for wealth’s sake, make fun of folks who dress in suits and ties, who live in high rises, have mansions, have money, have worked hard for the American dream, and “drive to ball’s in their carriages.” Don’t jump down my throat for pointing out Toby Keith’s wealth, I was just presenting it as evidence of why he is being hypocritical. I went out of my way to say I have no problem with people being wealthy. The only person talking down wealth and wealthy people is Toby Keith…. while he lives the wealthy life.

      That’s called hypocrisy.

         7 likes

      • OK, so is Merle Haggard a hypocrite for singing Working Man Blues or White Boy belittling the rich, while he was a millionaire. Unlike Keith, who actually spent years doing blue collar jobs, Haggard pretty much never had a real job. He just went from a crook to a successful singer.

        Don’t get me wrong, I love Haggard’s music, and can’t stand TK, but I don’t see nothing wrong with him making “Working man” songs when he’s wealthy.

           0 likes

        • Merle Haggard grew up harder than Toby Keith did. He grew up durin the Great Depression and his parents were dirt farmers who fled the dust bowl. Working on an oil rig doesn’t approximate that type of desperation. I have friends who work on oil rigs, they make damn good money.

             4 likes

        • There is no way to quantify or compare the level of poverty Merle haggard faced growing up as compared to Toby Keith, and this fact is fresh in my mind since two weeks ago today I was standing in the Country Music Hall of Fame reading about the particulars of Merle’s childhood growing up in an abandoned boxcar on the outskirts of Bakersfield.

          Nonetheless, as I said in the review above: “No, performers don’t always have to live the exact life that they sing about. This is an unfair requirement that most artists can’t live up to.

          The difference between the two songs is Toby Keith is calling out girls expressly for being from wealth. He’s tearing down. While Merle doesn’t mention wealth even once or talking down anybody in “Working Man Blues,” he’s simply telling a story from a perspective he is well aware of because of his upbringing and surroundings. Also when he wrote and recorded the song, he was far from a millionaire or famous. That would come as a result from songs like “Working Man Blues.”

          “White Boy” is just a terrible song all the way around, and I won’t defend it. Merle probably hasn’t played it in 35 years.

          When you’re tearing people down, I think the authenticity of the song should be called into question more than when a song is propping people up, like Merle does in “Working Man.”

             2 likes

          • Yes. Songwriters often put themselves in another time and place or sing from another person’s perspective. I could be wrong, but I don’t think that John Prine is an old woman named after his mother…

            I have to disagree with you about “White Boy” though Trig. Its one of my favorite Haggard tunes. I think you have to remember that he wrote it during the turmoil of the 60′s and 70′s when there were Black Pride marches going on all over the country and much of the counterculture was slandering American soldiers as baby murderers sent off to kill “the yellow man.”

               5 likes

          • You’re probably right. From today’s perspective, that songs polarizing. Back then, he was giving a voice to a sentiment that was very prevalent and accepted.

               2 likes

          • He hasn’t played it in 35 years? Here he is singing it in 2005
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqrBHDUInn8

            Anyway, I wasn’t even talking about the racial aspect of the song (of which I don’t see anything wrong with) but the fact that he was making working class sentiments.

               0 likes

      • first off , i just want to distance myself from this other Patrick….
        Koby Teeth is exactly who should be bashed with his fake ass bumpkin act. the wealth and acute business acumen of the man is proof that the guy is no dummy, in fact precisely the opposite. Who is Koby to say to anyone “your country aint country” HA!!!
        Someone else already stole my thunder with a comment about the gayest thing i have seen since i moved away from San Francisco at the 26 second mark… WTF come on man!!!! i thought they were gonna put down their horns and start blowing each other.
        The big arena concert stage, the slick video editing, the playing to the lowest common denominator…. it just doesn’t do or say anything of substance or value, ..for country music or humans in general. Booooooooo.

           2 likes

  • I approach Triggerman’s criticism articles with a rather pessimistic mindset toward the mainstream/popular culture in “country” music … because we all know that anything played on “country” radio is geared toward people who (for one) are too lazy to find the bonafide country music elsewhere and (for B) slander the good nature of southern/country living by glorifying the white trash redneck-ism that’s all too common (tune into CMT for examples).

    So, whether Koby Teeth (and any other hokey pop singer on the radio) is country or not is nothing I even ponder or consider. I simply settle on the conclusion that they provide more litter to the cesspool of everything that’s wrong with country music and culture.

    Thanks, Triggerman, for providing us underdogs with comfort and what little self-esteem we have.

       1 likes

  • I remember seeing a Toby Keith commercial for Ford trucks where he said “I would rather buy a Ford truck than have another truck given to me.” If that isn’t the height of arrogance and the sure sign of being out of touch, then I don’t know what is…. What a douche. Also, his live version of the Taliban Song is just disgusting, as he whips a crowd of idiots into a feaux-Patriotic frenzy, as they cheer for the incineration of a bunch of third-world peasants.

    As Unknown Hinson said, Toby Keith needs to get back on his Nordic Track.

       5 likes

    • “The Taliban Song” calls for the incineration of regular peasants??? Here are the lyrics to the song:

      “I’m just a middle-aged, middle-eastern camel herdin’ man
      I got a little, 2 bedroom cave here in North Afghanistan
      Things used to be real nice and they got out of hand when they moved in
      They call themselves the Taliban
      (ooooo yeah the taliban) (taliban baby)

      Now I ain’t seen my wife’s face since they came here
      They make her wear a scarf over her head that covers her from ear to ear
      She loves the desert and the hot white sand
      But man she’s just like me, nah she can’t stand
      The Taliban (ooo taliban baby)

      You know someday soon we’re both gonna saddle up and it’ll be
      Ride Camel Ride
      My old lady she’ll be here with me, smilin right by my side
      We should do just fine out around Palestine or maybe Turkmenistan
      We’ll bid a fair adieu and flip the finger to the Taliban
      (oh yeah the taliban) (baby)

      I know where you comin from brother!
      This is a patriotic love song
      So y’all feel free to salute if you want,
      You got my permission.

      Now they attacked New York City cause they thought they could win
      Said they would, stand and fight until the very bloody end
      Mr Bush got on the phone with Iraq and Iran and said “Now, you
      sons-of-bitches you better not be doin any business with the taliban”
      (Taliban baby)

      So we prayed to Allah with all of our might
      Until those big U.S. jets came flyin one night
      They dropped little bombs all over their holy land
      And man you should have seen em run like rabbits, they ran
      (the taliban)

      You know someday soon we’re both gonna saddle up and it’ll be
      Ride Camel Ride
      My old lady she’ll be here with me, smilin right by my side
      We should do real fine out around Palestine or maybe Turkmenistan
      We’ll bid a fair adieu and flip a couple fingers to the Taliban
      (oh yeah, taliban)
      we’ll bid a fair adieu and flip a big boner to The Taliban (baby)”

      The song is pretty dumb in how it lumps in Iraq and Iran with the Taliban, as well as the line about “Palestine or maybe Turkmenistan”. However, it appears that Toby Keith is actually siding with the peasants here and discussing how their lives have been ruined by the Taliban. The song is calling for the incineration of the Taliban, not the incineration of the peasants.

         1 likes

      • You’re right about one thing, for many reasons, the song is very dumb. The premise of the song makes absolutely no sense at all. Toby, what the fuck do Iraq and Iran have to do with the Taliban? But the crowd seems to love it. The idiots in the crowd can’t spell Iraq or Iran, but they really seem to like the line about US jets dropping bombs on a bunch of Muslims. This they love. It gets the loudest cheers of any line in the whole song. This is the dumbest fucking piece of faux-Patriotic propoganda that has ever been produced.

        Remember that Bing Crosby song back in the 1940′s where he sang about dropping bombs on Korea and China because the Japanese had attacked Pear Harbor? That was a good one.

           5 likes

        • To be fair to the crowd, they were probably cheering dropping bombs on the Taliban, not a generic “bunch” of Muslims.

             1 likes

          • oh lets do be fair to Toby fans. Since they are sheep they will go for anything they are told. or sold to them .

               3 likes

        • I don’t know much about Bing Crosby, but if he was actually conflating Korea and China with Japan, that is extremely disturbing and offensive to put it mildly. Korea at the time had been a victim of Japanese colonialism and oppression for decades, and countless Koreans had died fighting the Japanese. And no country suffered more in the hands of the Japanese than China. The Japanese wiped out entire cities and villages in China and committed massacres and human experiments on the Chinese that come close to the Holocaust in scope and brutality. All in all, around 38 million Chinese were killed by the Japanese from 1931 to 1945.

             0 likes

  • Most artists don’t want to live like Blaze Foley or Townes Van Zandt.

    Like Trig, I am happy for Toby Keith and his success.

    I find most of his lyrics to be considerably more catchy than cerebral, although I don’t even know whether he writes his own material.

    DAC and Jimmy Buffett are best known for their more mindless ditties (Take This Job and Shove It and Cheeseburger in Paradise, respecively), but they are also accomplished lyricists and they are capable of conveying feelings and life experiences as well as Ernest Hemingway.

    I have 2 or 3 of Toby’s CDs and I have listened to each of them once (which is the case with a lot of music I buy), but I can’t see me wanting to pay money to see him in concert and I probably won’t buy any of his other CDs, including the one which has this new tune.

    I find myself buying used CDs from suspect artists (Toby and Alan Jackson) when I have bought everything my local music store has from the types of artists I like best (you can guess, since I am on this website).

    When I do this, I am invariably disappointed.

    I need to avoid making this mistake, walk out of my local store empty-handed, get online and buy the music I like directly from the artists or on Amazon.

    As someone who doesn’t drink (but I don’t mind how much other people drink) and who is middle-aged, I probably don’t concur with the thesis of this song – maybe 25 years ago, but not now, Toby.

       1 likes

    • I just wanted to say, I definitely recommend buying online from an artist over buying used, although new and in a record store is in my opinion the best way to buy music, (i like when the artists I like make money off of me buying their music, and love local shops)

      But I like Alan Jackson, I don’t really know what he’s coming out with now, but I consider him real country, even though I don’t listen to him very often, I love that he is a huge George Jones fan, and some of his covers of classic country songs are pretty good.

         0 likes

  • Forget about this ass clown. I was hoping to see a review of Chris Knight’s new album

       2 likes

    • It’s coming. I just got my copy today.

         2 likes

  • Sonically good? Was that a horn section in a country song? It sounded like something from Me First & the Gimme Gimmes’ country album.

    Sonically, lyrically … it’s crap any way you slice it. I agree with KC, let’s get a review of Chris Knight’s new album. Or all of his albums retroactively, since you seemed to have missed them.

       1 likes

    • I was referring to the single, not the live version in the video. But even then, I do think it’s got a good structure. I’d rather have horns than rapping or Auto-tune. Merle’s had a horn player in his band for forever. I’m not defending it, just saying.

         0 likes

  • The look on the horn players’ faces at the 0:26 second mark says it all.

       4 likes

  • Toby is laughing all the way to the bank when he cranks out these catchy and intentionally light weight singles. Toby has witnessed the continual erosion in the quality of mainstream country music since he entered the realm long ago, and now he’s going with the flow so to speak. If top 40 country radio listeners want ever more mediocrity in their music, then by gosh Toby’s gonna give it to them! In today’s country music marketplace Toby has realized that pandering to the lowest common denominator works just fine thank you. One man’s seeming hypocrisy is another man’s calculated business approach…

       4 likes

    • I liked some of Toby’s older stuff, (im talking a lot older) it had a much more country feel to it, I understand where he’s coming from trying to stay hip or whatever, he wants to keep making money, and all those sponsorships will go away pretty quick if he stops selling..still, I don’t think I could do the stupid pop songs, I’ve been asked to, but I’d wind up hating myself if I even tried, I’ll keep my Hank Sr, my Johnny Cash, they can keep their pandering pop songs.

         0 likes

  • ” calculated business approach”
    Ya, just what I look for first in a country artist …..

       5 likes

  • I see nothing wrong with having a horn section in country music. It’s been done many times over the years, including in “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the way it’s usually done, but if done right, there’s it’s not a bad thing.

    Hell, the song even sounds good.

    My problem with it is different than everything listed so far.

    My problem is, Toby should’ve just done a cover of “Country Club” by Travis Tritt, or “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks, because this song is a direct rip-off of both. There’s nothing new, novel, or original about it, and to be honest, as a huge fan of Toby’s pre-2000 stuff, (Yes, I like hat-act country, it and traditional country are what I grew up on.), I’m kind of disappointed to hear this from him, as I have been with his last several singles.

    Also, I get a kick out of him putting down the un-named girl in the song for driving a Benz while stating he couldn’t wear his suit-and-tie in a Lariat… last I looked, you can buy an entry-level Mercedes-Benz for LESS than an F-series Lariat now!

       4 likes

  • The more crap like this Toby Keith puts out, the more I agree with his first hit song. He should’ve learned to rope and ride.

       2 likes

  • Tell me about it man.It’s kinda like the country music Spice Girls fronted by multi-millionaire Miranda Lambert bitching that they don’t have the money to pay the boys in the band.Gimme a break.

       1 likes

  • Never thought I’d say this but thank God for Sweden. Your video link ain’t availible here.
    Pheouw!

       0 likes

    • thanks for that, it made me smile.

         0 likes

  • [...] This cracked me up…cause it is true.  [...]

       0 likes

  • Saw Turkmenistan mentioned in that awesomely awful song and was wondering if anyone here was familiar with their former president/dictator….if not this is some highly reccomended reading: http://www.badassoftheweek.com/niyazov.html I’m not trying to plug someone else’s website but seriously check it out!

       0 likes

  • mainstream country music is a joke. I understand thats some songs can eb silly but they “cuties” or silly songs one after another is getting sickening.

       0 likes

Leave a comment

Old Soul Radio Show
Hillgrass Bluebilly
KOOK

Categories

Archives