Greatest Hits: You Never Saw Coming

Kid Rock

Warner Brothers, 2018

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Well, it’s hard to believe, but it’s been twenty years since Kid Rock first came onto the national consciousness with Devil Without a Cause. In that time, he’s put out some real garbage and some songs that really aren’t half bad. I figured what I’d do is go through every song and write down my memories of where I was when I first heard them and what they mean to me now.

“Bawitdaba:” Takes me back to middle school when the damn thing was everywhere and you couldn’t escape it. Not a bad memory to have, but it’s definitely not a song you will admit knowing the lyrics to now. All in all, this is a great Neanderthal rock song that still sounds pretty cool blasting out of the radio.

“All Summer Long:” One of the most obnoxious, cloying ripoffs I’ve ever heard. This song is just as dumb as possible and people still love it. I never could stand it and it definitely hasn’t aged well. Do yourself a favor and go listen to “Werewolves Of London” instead, please!

“Cowboy:” A song I liked for about a minute in 1999. I was 13, what do you want from me?! It sounds like crap now and certainly has not aged like something from KoRn or Filter from the same period. This is a song that when it comes on the radio now, I have to giggle at how stupid it sounds.

“Born Free:” I hadn’t heard this one before. This track was from when Kid Rock was trying to be like Seger, right down to the overemoting voice. Well, he didn’t quite pull it off. The music is good; it reminds me of classic ‘70s Southern rock, but his voice but basically kills it. Just take a mix without the vocals and you’ve got a good song.

“Devil Without A Cause:” Quite an interesting track, finding Kid Rock bragging about hits and stuff he hadn’t had yet. It sounds like disco rap that’s stuck in 1998. Definitely a passable track and shouldn’t have been included.

“Picture:” This was the song to sell to the housewives. It’s not bad at all; the way his and Sheryl Crow’s voices blend together work surprisingly well. This is probably one of his more memorable tracks and one that hasn’t aged much at all.

“American Bad Ass:” “I know it stinks in here, cuz I’m the shit!” This has got some of the most laughable lyrics I’ve ever heard. The only reason it rocks is because of the Metallica sample. Definitely takes me back to high school, but now, it’s a song I listen and laugh uncontrollably at.

“Johnny Cash:” Definitely one of the standouts on the disc, this one is a newer track from 2015. It’s a song that has a nice vibe to it and works surprisingly well. I’m not sure why it never became a hit.

“So Hott:” Quite simply, a slow tempo rocker from 2007 that doesn’t work. This one comes across very bland and dull.

“You Never Met A Motherfucker Quite Like Me:” Just another bragging song talking about how great he is and his many achievements. A song definitely not worthy of its title. Pass!

“Roll On:” A long track that doesn’t do much. This would be a decent enough pop song if he’d trimmed it a bit; it would’ve been a country hit for someone else, but it only works marginally well for Kid Rock.

“First Kiss:” Feels like a Bryan Adams track turned through New Wave (a tad). Lyrically it comes across like a country song, but it feels like another bragging Kid Rock track.

“American Rock ‘N Roll:” Another bland song that does nothing and goes nowhere.

“Only God Knows Why:” One of the only songs from middle school/high school that still sounds pretty good and isn’t dated at all. This is one of the last power ballads and still comes across pretty well.

“Wasting Time:” The last single off Devil Without A Cause and probably shouldn’t have been included. This is a very dated and a poor excuse for a song. Ironically, it now sounds like 2018 country music.

Basically, what we have here is a wildly mediocre artist who has made a career stylistically jumping around all willy nilly. When you combine all those songs together in package, you get to see how woefully underwhelming and dated most of Kid Rock’s material seems to be. While he may never be the greatest, we’ll always have the lyrics to “American Bad Ass.”

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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