Toby Keith

Blue Moon

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Long before Toby Keith rose to fame as the boot-brandishing "Angry American" of post-9/11 country music, the Oklahoma native was a well-regarded performer who regularly appeared on the charts, but hadn't yet gained mainstream superstar status. On this 1996 outing, Keith, backed by his Easy Money Band, offers up a largely romantic set. "Me Too" finds him calling in sick to work just so he can stay home with his lady, while "A Woman's Touch" features the singer pondering matters of the heart over gently twinkling keyboards, and "Does That Blue Moon Ever Shine on You" stands out as a particularly tender, if not schmaltzy, ballad. In fact, aside from the upbeat tunes "She's Gonna Get It" and "Hello," the record is a notably downtempo affair that calls attention to Keith's resonant vocals. A far cry from his rowdy, hard-drinking later albums Unleashed and Shockn' Y'All, Blue Moon showcases the sensitive side of Keith to charming effect.

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