Toby Keith goes back to the well of strong patriotism for his newly released single 'Made in America.' Keith performed the song Wednesday night at the CMT Music Awards in Nashville. While the song doesn't feel like a remake of his previous anthems, it doesn't live up to their high watermark, either.

The storyteller sings of his parents, and their experience. The first verse is Dad's verse as Keith sings, "It breaks his heart seeing foreign cars / Filled with fuel that isn't ours / And wearing cotton we didn't grow." The melody isn't especially memorable; in fact, it's a tad herky-jerky a la 'American Ride.'

Keith sings with plenty of passion as he reaches the chorus: "He's got the red, white and blue flying high on the farm / Semper Fi tattooed on his left arm / Spent a little more in the store for a tag in the back that says 'Made in the USA' / He won't buy nothing that he can't fix / With WD-40 and a Craftsman wrench / He ain't prejudice / He's just / Made in America."

The second verse is Mom's verse: "He loves his wife and she's that wife / That decorates on the Fourth of July / But says every day is Independence Day / She's golden rule, teaches school / Some folks say it isn't cool / But she says the Pledge of Allegiance anyway." Again, there isn't much to criticize with the lyrics, but there isn't anything to call up the Grammy Awards over either. The song's timing is perfect as we head towards summer and Independence Day. But it's unlikely his fans will be hoping to hear this song before 'American Soldier' and 'Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue' at the family barbecue.

Keith has strung together a short sticky-note full of good but not great songs over the last few years. Few have been more than a glancing blow to America's country conscious. 'Made in America' is amongst those that when 2- years from now his fans ask one another, "Do you remember?" the response will be a long pause followed by, "Oh, yeaaaaaaah."

3 Stars

Listen to Toby Keith, 'Made in America'

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