CD Review: Kid Rock

Rock n Roll Jesus Atlantic
Music •• Sound ••

If this is Kid Rock's idea of a classic Southern-rock album, then he's more isolated than he realizes. Familiar songs are sampled, referenced, or lifted entirely (it takes 10 seconds to know where "All Summer Long" came from), but there's so much candy­floss in the mix that should-be barnstormers like the title track sound like cartoon music. On "New Orleans," he doesn't get past fake-Creedence riffs and touristy references to gumbo and Bourbon Street. And the non-rap setting brings up the Kid's limitations as a singer: On the nebulous protest song "Amen," he sounds exactly like Jon Bon Jovi in social-conscience mode. The album only works when he assumes his white-trash persona: "Sugar" jumps from sensitive country to rap rampage (a trick he's used before), and "Half Your Age" is a suitably crass response to his divorce. Along with his recent dustup at a Waffle House, it gives the gossip-column buzz you'd hope for from an artist who's really a professional celebrity.

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