Toby Keith, ‘Drinks After Work’ – Song Review
Some believe the R&B-influenced country sound of the '70s and '80s is poised to make a big comeback, and recent releases from Trace Adkins and Joe Nichols are evidence of that. Toby Keith's new song 'Drinks After Work' jumps the flashback needle, however. He's a bit ahead of his time in being behind the times.
It's the keyboard. From the very beginning, the riff dominates the track, giving it a distinct '80s television theme song feel. It's too easy to imagine Balki from 'Perfect Strangers' digging on this song, or maybe cousin Larry, as he was more prone to following his libido.
The lyrics are cute -- a word rarely saved for Keith, but he could be stretching his brand, which is never a bad idea. "Been a long day, no break / We made it to the middle of the week / And I'm thinking that I'm probably gonna need to get to know you casually / Just having fun, two for one / Watch a good time get a little better / Ain't no ball and chain for the suits and skirts / Just drinks after work," he sings during the chorus.
The second verse proves what one suspects from the beginning: this peppy track is a love song, and not a drinking song. "Happy hour's like a holiday / Hanging with you's like getting away / Let's conversate for a little while / Well keep me company, catch me up / It's a whole lot better than being stuck / In a drive-time 9 to 5 / I'd rather see you smile."
There's a certain sweetness to what this guy is trying to accomplish and that will resonate.
But utimately, 'Drinks After Work' is so far removed from what fans expect from Keith that it's jarring. A George Strait duet with Miley Cyrus would be less surprising. It's just too difficult to accept that keyboard (is it a Casio?). It sounds like the producer was just trying to be ironic, and fans are left out of the joke.
Listen to Toby Keith, 'Drinks After Work'