and Paul Chi
June 18, 2007 12:00 PM

Toby Keith

Big Dog Daddy | [2.5 stars]

Toby Keith makes no apologies for being Toby Keith. “You may not like where I’m goin’/But you sure know where I stand/Hate me if you want to/Love me if you can,” he sings on the defiant ballad “Love Me If You Can.” And while his new album is unlikely to get any love from folks like Natalie Maines—the Dixie Chick with whom Keith famously feuded over her anti-Bush comments—it should keep loyal fans satisfied. Best is “High Maintenance Woman,” the foot-stomping first single, which rides a clever lyrical conceit: “A high maintenance woman/Don’t want no maintenance man.” Elsewhere, Keith unleashes a couple of typical honky-tonkers (“Get My Drink On”), while on the starry-eyed “I Know She Hung the Moon,” the big dog turns into a puppy dog.

DOWNLOAD THIS: “High Maintenance Woman”

Enrique Iglesias

Insomniac | [2.5 stars]

Memo to Enrique Iglesias: Don’t try to be R. Kelly. On “Push”—the one truly misguided moment on his new CD—Iglesias attempts to earn his pimp card with a little help from rapper Lil Wayne, but the result is a limp, laughable hip-hopper that would even give Anna Kournikova second thoughts. Thankfully, though, Iglesias fully embraces his pop heartthrobness on most of Insomniac. Which makes for guilty pleasures like “Do You Know (The Ping Pong Song),” the frothy first single that playfully uses the sound of table-tennis balls. Though flirting with electro and reggaeton, Iglesias returns to familiar territory: “Somebody’s Me,” the best of the ballads, should win over fans of “Hero,” while “Tired of Being Sorry” is unapologetically lightweight Latin pop.

DOWNLOAD THIS: “Do You Know (The Ping Pong Song)”

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