Rock 'N' Roll Jesus

Kid Rock

Atlantic, 2007

http://www.kidrock.com/

REVIEW BY: David Bowling

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/14/2008

So what’s the old guy doing reviewing Kid Rock, you ask? Well, one of my daughters came for a visit. So how does that affect a review? Well, my daughters tend to bring their own music with them rather than depend upon my taste; hence, I found Kid Rock playing on the stereo system.

I have never paid much attention to Kid Rock. I don’t like rap; I rarely listen to hip-hop except for a song here and there. I don’t even like Pam Anderson (except for the obvious.) So it was an ear opening experience to hear this latest release by Kid Rock.

Kid Rock is not a kid anymore. Age 40 is looming on the horizon him and Rock N Roll Jesus is his eleventh album release. Maybe a musical maturity has set in or he just wanted to try something new, but whatever the reason Kid Rock has produced an excellent album of classic yet modern day rock & roll. bim_ad_daily_vault_print_250

The disc kicks off with trilogy of songs that when taken together form one of the more pleasurable listening experiences of the past year or so. The album’s title track sets the tone for much of the album, featuring a good hook set to crunching guitars with brass and female back up singers in support; there is even a little old fashioned wah-wah guitar. It may not break any new ground, but it covers the old rock ground well. Meanwhile, following it is “Amen,” a good counterpoint song that leads off with acoustic guitar accompaniment and features a strong vocal from Kid rock above the mix. He actually shows that he has a moral and political consciousness as he deals with war and other social issues of the day. Finally, “All Summer Long,” which has just been issued as a single and is beginning to get radio airplay, is the strongest song on the album. Combining music from “The Werewolves Of London” and “Sweet Home Alabama,” “All Summer Long” is a wistful look at time past where everything seems to be perfect. Anyone over a certain age can’t help but connect to this song and realize that this perfect time will never be regained.

Nevertheless, there are some misses on Rock N Roll Jesus. “So Hot,” which sounds right out of a strip club routine, shows that Kid Rock just could not completely get rid of his past, and his singing on this track is more hollering than anything melodic.

On the bright side, “New Orleans” has a Dixieland honky tonk feel, yet remains within a rock structure, while “Half Your Age” appears to be a shot at former wife Pam Anderson (and if so, good for him.)

In a recent interview, Kid Rock mentioned he may return to his hip-hop roots for his next release, but my hope is that this doesn’t happen. He may want to pay attention to his own “All Summer Long” and accept that the perfect past is gone, recognizing that it’s something that can be appreciated but rarely regained successfully.

Rock N Roll Jesus is a mature and creative rock album. Hopefully Kid Rock will continue to explore his musical evolution in this direction.

Rating: A-

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Comments

by trifictans on November 21, 2008 07:28:32 AM
I liked this album as well. Never would have considered myself a Kid Rock fan until now. The hip hop genre is generally not my forte' but Kid Rock actually seems to have sprung out of his comfort zone and created a form of rock for himself. He's actually living up to his name now. And I would be interested to hear more releases from him, assuming he sticks with this newly found talent, and not the old stuff of his past.

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© 2008 David Bowling and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Atlantic, and is used for informational purposes only.