Beer has been mighty good to Toby Keith. He's been able to build a solid career singing about it and the honky-tonk lifestyle that goes along with it. He continues the party vibe with Hope On The Rocks. Almost all of the tracks have some reference to beer. But to be fair, the album isn't all about beer. It's also about bars. And women. And women who like beer. You get the idea.
But he's anything but shallow. The title track squashes that idea completely. Hope On The Rocks kicks off the album with a sobering (pun intended) look at life from a bartenders perspective. "Where do they go? They come here / to drown in their sorrow and cry in their beer / they're in need of a mindbender / I'm a bartender at the end of the day / I'm all they've got hope on the rocks." It could spoil the mood for the rest of the album, but it at least shows that drinking has a darker side.
He cranks out hit after hit on the first half of the album. You have the humorous The Size I Wear with the unforgettable rhyme: "She was five foot two 'bout ninety-five pounds / She was round in the places she's supposed to be round." Scat Cat and I Like Girls Who Drink Beer are bound to be crowd favorites. And Get Got has some amazing guitar rifts and great one liners "Less is more, 'cept love and money." It should be a single at some point.
The second half of the album slows down a little with the token love ballads ("Haven't Seen The Last Of You" and "Missed You Just Right"). Ballads aren't really his strong suit, but they are well done and in a sincere way.
Together it's exactly the kind of album you would expect from Toby Keith. Regardless of what you think of the subject matter, he arguably knows how to make great country music.