I was one of the biggest critics of Kid Rock's last album, the appropriately-titled "Cocky," but I have to admit it grew on me. So I was a little more prepared for the emergence of Kid Country on his latest self-titled album.
This album is an even more dramatic departure from the rock-rapper's past than "Cocky." But it's also a much better album. "Kid Rock" gives him something he's never had, a distinct personality. It's a much more coherent record than "Cocky," which bounced from one end of the spectrum to the other.
The album has a long list of contributors from Hank Williams Jr. on the Aerosmith-laced "Cadillac" to a reunion with Sheryl Crow on "Run Off to L.A." These guest spots provide some of the hottest tracks on the album, including "Black Bob," where Shreveport native Kenny Wayne Shepherd lays down a wicked wah-wah lick, and "Hillbilly Stomp" which features the talents of ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons.
There are some clunkers on the album, like the Kenny Chesney-penned country ballad "Cold and Empty" - which despite being a little dull is an almost surefire crossover hit - and the sappy "Do It For You," which really doesn't fit the Kid's style. But he more than makes up for those with raucous rockers like "Jackson, Mississippi" and "Son of Detroit," an inspired take on David Allan Coe's "Son of the South."
Those looking for the Kid Rock who recorded "Bawitdaba" and "American Bad Ass," may not find him on this album. There's only one rap, "Intro" (which for some odd reason is the album's seventh song.) But those who come to this album prepared for Kid Rock's transition into a Southern rock crooner should enjoy it.
Get "Kid Rock."