Why is Kid Rock at Blurt Today?


Bowing to popular demand, we present, though not without trepidation, A Review Of The New Kid Rock Album. Our assessment: mmm… it’s okay.

By A.D. Amorosi

Reportedly born of conversations between the Kid and his
newest (uber) producer Rick Rubin (think Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond rather
than his takes on the Beasties and RHCP), Born Free is meant to not only
show off Rock’s lyrical love for his hard luck hometown Detroit; the album
finds Rock (like Rubin) transitioning away from crunching metal, rude rap and well
as his usual boyish brand of mussed-up self-referential cussin’ and sputtering.


Oddly (sadly) they’ve replaced much of Rock’s raucous
backing ensemble Twisted Brown Truckers with studio-tanned vets (David Hidalgo,
Ben Tench) and emphasized Rock’s classic rock affections for a sound as smooth
as casket-aged bourbon on languidly pastoral country blues cuts like
“Purple Sky.” Rock still sneaks in some lowdown dirty riff-rawk
(“God Bless Saturday”) and a keen take on hillbilly hip hop (“Care,”
with Martina McBride and T.I.).  But
there’s a lot of (too much, perhaps?) reverence here for the concepts of home
(“Flying High”) and heroes like Bob Seger whose rough AOR sound ripples
throughout the proceedings. (Seger even plays piano on the lustrous “Collide.”)
The Kid even manages to find respect for his own voice as he’s crooning low and
sultry/smoky on “When It Rains” and angelically and unrecognizably high on “For
the First Time In a Long Time.”


It’s a damn fine album – damn fine; nine stars for most. But
for the Kid it’s a (not so) loud and proud “seven” with the possibilities of a
great transition into even more stars on his next album.



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