Agree 100% on the older stuff is better. I really like his older stuff too. His newer songs are good too, I just really prefer his older songs. Overall he's got a really nice catalog of songs. Just checked out his album "35 biggest hits", and there's a lot of great stuff on there.the radio station I worked at before retiring played Country music - newer country on FM and classic country on AM - so I heard all of Keith's music from the start.
to be honest, I'm not a big country fan. but I will say I enjoyed his earlier songs more than his later material. I thought the earlier material was more about telling a story. the later material - to me - seemed to be more about making a point. and I admit I didn't agree with his politics, which probably colors my opinion of the material.