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Unleashed
     

Unleashed

4.6 32
by Toby Keith
 
Controversial even before its release, Toby Keith's Unleashed positions him as the latest defender of the American Way. His roiling post-9/11 manifesto, "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)," lays out a vision of unrelenting vengeance directed at the punks who attacked the United States, as it gleefully asserts, "You'll be sorry that you

Overview

Controversial even before its release, Toby Keith's Unleashed positions him as the latest defender of the American Way. His roiling post-9/11 manifesto, "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)," lays out a vision of unrelenting vengeance directed at the punks who attacked the United States, as it gleefully asserts, "You'll be sorry that you messed with/the U.S. of A/'Cause we'll put a boot in your ass/It's the American way." The song won't appeal to everyone, obviously, but its fierce outrage is expressed far more eloquently than the chorus might suggest. But there's more to Unleashed -- Keith's robust baritone and can-do attitude bespeak a man with a purpose, and he deploys it in the service of some damn fine hard-country music. A moaning pedal steel, whimsical lyrics, and a tender vocal make "Huckleberry" the most engaging love song in Keith's repertoire. A brisk shuffle and lyrics delivered rapid-fire provide the ballast for a forthright declaration of self-reliance, "It Works for Me." Willie Nelson shows up to help Keith kick ass on "Beer for My Horses," a rowdy, honky-tonkin', pre-9/11 Keith original that takes an uncompromising law-and-order line against "evil forces" at loose on the land. The big, booming power ballad "Rock You Baby," with Lari White on background vocals, beautifully blends soft passages with a soaring chorus, as Keith navigates through the arrangement with authority and deep feeling. Well-crafted original songs with an assured point of view, played with conviction and performed with a lot of heart, define Unleashed, one of the meatiest albums of the year.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Toby Keith was edging in on superstardom prior to the release of Unleashed -- he appeared on a national long-distance telephone commercial, after all -- but this was the record that made him a household name, thanks to the opening track "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)" and the media-created controversy surrounding its release. The rabble-rousing, obstinate flip-side to Alan Jackson's "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning" -- essentially, a 9-11 song for those who thought Jackson's heartbroken confusion was for pansies, but weren't redneck enough to embrace Charlie Daniels' "That Ain't No Rag, It's a Flag" or "The Last Fallen Hero" -- "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" is, as its subtitle suggests, filled with anger, telling the terrorists (whose "suckerpunch came flying in from somewhere in the back," a rhyme so tantalizingly close to "somewhere in Iraq," you will yourself to hear it every time it plays) that they'll "get a boot in their ass, it's the American way." Keith was scheduled to sing this on an ABC special on the fourth of July (not too coincidentally mentioned in the song), when apparently Peter Jennings objected to the tone of the song and asked the network to rescind the singer's invitation, which then lead to reams of print and countless TV appearances that effectively sold Unleashed before it hit the stores. As it turns out, "Courtesy" is a bit misleading of a lead single, as is the title, since most of this album is hardly tough macho posturing. Sure, there's some of it -- such as the absurdly anthemic "Beer for My Horses," a duet with Willie Nelson where the two of them hunt down modern day gangsters like cowboys, then drink to their accomplishments -- but most of this album is tuneful singer/songwriterism, particularly on the second side, where this album really takes off with a series of rolling, melodic, acoustic-based songs that truly demonstrate that Keith can be a sturdy, memorable songwriter. True, he does descend into cloying cuteness on occasion ("Huckleberry"), but the stretch of songs from "It Works for Me" through "That's Not How It Is" that ends the record is among his finest, and they're balanced by a couple of good moments from the first side (the silly fun of "Good to Go to Mexico," "Losing My Touch") and, of course, "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue." That song may mischaracterize what's on Unleashed, but those who are brought in by that slice of flag-waving jingoism should be pleased by the sweeter fare here since, ultimately, it proves to be more substantive.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/23/2002
Label:
Dreamworks Nashville
UPC:
0600445025424
catalogNumber:
450254
Rank:
16149

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Toby Keith   Primary Artist
John Wesley Ryles   Background Vocals
Lari White   Background Vocals
Kim Fleming   Background Vocals
Shannon Forrest   Drums
Paul Franklin   Steel Guitar
Vicki Hampton   Background Vocals
Mike Haynes   Trumpet
Clayton Ivey   Piano,Keyboards
Brent Mason   Electric Guitar
Jerry McPherson   Electric Guitar
Steve Nathan   Piano,Keyboards
Michael Rhodes   Bass
Biff Watson   Acoustic Guitar
Curtis Young   Background Vocals
Michael Hart Thompson   Electric Guitar
Chris Collins   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin
Scotty Emerick   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
Wes Hightower   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Toby Keith   Composer,Producer
Julian King   Engineer
James Stroud   Producer
Richard Hanson   Engineer
Scotty Emerick   Composer
Darren Welch   Art Direction

Customer Reviews

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Unleashed 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gee, where would we be without Toby Keith telling us how to react? Perhaps $17 richer and with better Country singers who know how to write true Country lyrics to match real talent. I'm among the dissenters here. I plunked down good money for a sad excuse of a CD, believing all the hype. Wish I had come to Barnes and Noble first to hear samples of the music before wasting my dough.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The song ''Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue'' was the reason I bought this album. I'm not a country fan, but after the ensuing controversy about the song, I decided to lend my support by buying the album. Peter Jennings needs to go back to Canada.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Me and my friend Ashley love courtasy of the red, white, and blue so much that we have memorized it by heart and sing it, so you get why I gave it 5 stars!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue is an awesome song, definetely American Spirit at it's best. Plus, the duet with Willie Nelson is great. If you're a true Country music fan this album is definetly for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sorry to say but I bought this CD. I also bought the very first Toby CD. What a difference! What a waste! There's just way too much emphasis on making angry political statements and less on making good country music. I've really tried to stay with this singer, but no more. There's too many guys out there that have the staying power to keep us country and western fans happy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I stood in a line until 2:15 this morning to have Toby sign his latest cd, which by the way definitely gets 5 stars -- as always Toby puts out an excellent product. By the way, it was soooo cool to meet him!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This C.D. is the best C.D. that I have ever bought. The only reason I bought it was for one song (The Angry American) but when I heard the rest of the songs I fell in love with the whole thing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i have this entire cd memorized my fav. sogs are hucklberry, good to go to mexico, courtsy of the red white and blue, beer for my horses and rodeo moon (because i ride barrles)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Toby Keith is an up standing American to say the least and "Unleashed"is a perfect title for the perfect album. The songs on this album are very true to the times we are living in and express many Amercians feelings. Peter Jennings and fellow country stars The Dixie Chicks should be embarrested for the comments they made regaurding "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue". The songs is patriotic and very reassuring to our Troops over seas!!!! The album is upbeat and fun and great for anyone that enjoys good down home country music!
Guest More than 1 year ago
While all the media focus on the CD has been on Angry American, there are some better songs on this album. Good to Go to Mexico has a great Jimmy Buffett feel. Toby goes back to his rodeo roots in "Rodeo Moon" co-written by Chris Ledoux. The best song on the album however is "Who's Your Daddy?".
Guest More than 1 year ago
I heard all the songs of the CD on the radio release of this CD. All these songs are awesome!!! Think about it, Toby Keith just released a full album back in August, only 11 months ago!!! Even though these are the 'leftovers', they still make a great album! This is a must have for any country music fan!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this CD and I am not even a country fan. But ''Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue'' expresses how most americans feel at this point. Any one can relate to this song.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hey, Toby tells it like it is no matter what people may think or say about him.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Loved every song on this cd...especially Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue. It was written when the shock & horror of 9/11 was fresh, as well as the recent loss of his father....eGads, you can hear more anger in the voices of children, or adults involved in everyday conversation. I was infuriated when Peter Jennings was ALLOWED to nix Toby's appearance at the July 4th celebration.Being a Canadian and fan of the oh so gentile sport of hockey, I'd have thought he'd love the song. And...Melanie, Jolene, & Andrew, I wonder if you'd feel differently if you'd ever served your country in the military....just a thought. I've not been so touched by someone's music since first hearing Steve Goodman....
Guest More than 1 year ago
He does it his way, and ignores the Music Row morons. He sings songs that touch true Americans (sorry Dixie Chicks, there are true Americans still out there). Toby is truly a spokesman for this generation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great CD with Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue, The Angry American sung with emotion and pace. Great lyrics for the time we are experiencing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this song is a great, patriot American song which toby wrote. I love it and think peter jennings is unpatriotic by not embracing the chance to have toby keith do it on the 4th of July.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got this cd from my boyfriend as a Valentine's Day gift. He knows I like all music. I do not like this cd at all. The voice is good but the lyrics on most tracts are not what I would call true country. They're not even good. To be fair, I watched Keith on CMT doing some songs. The man is just as arrogant in person as he is on this cd. As for being a true American, we all are. That's just a great marketing ploy for this mediocre CD!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first of Toby Keith's cd's on which he has written or co-written every track and I say it's about time! Sure lots of folks will buy it for the opening track, but if you will stick around and listen to the whole package, you'll see what many of us have known all along...Toby can sing and write. He's so much more than a crusader for what many of us felt after 9/11 and this cd proves that.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I Love The Red WHITE & Blue,It's PERFECT
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album shows the real Toby, and what he's really like. Who's Your Daddy? is adorable, and Huckleberry gives teenagers with a sweetie like me some hope. :) Beer For My Horses is amazingly creative, and I can see why Willie Nelson would do a duet with him without even hearing it! The Angry American is inspiring and we all can relate to it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Toby your music rocks. You are one of my idols and you have inspired me to do much more in life. You are one of the best that have changed country music, in more ways than one, and I really enjoy listening to your music. You are a great artists and great song writter!
Guest More than 1 year ago
BEER FOR MY HORSES IS THE BEST COUNTRY SONG EVER WRITTEN AND COURTESY OF THE RED WHITE AND BLUE IS ONE OF THE MOST INNFLUENTIAL SONGS WRITTEN. TOBY ALL THE WAY!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Toby, My FAVORITE song is on this album, The Angery American. It really does ispire people in a way, i don't know how or why, but it sure does!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Toby did an AWESOME job on this CD and proves that honesty is the best policy and can get you far in life! I LOVED every minute of listening to this CD! I can't seem to get enough of Toby Keith no matter what day it is!