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The man known around the world as Kid Rock has always defied easy labeling, and now, with the eagerly awaited follow-up to his 2001 smash, "COCKY," Detroit's Favorite Son has taken his genre-blurring musical mash to an all-new plane with his self-titled new album.
"KID ROCK" is Rock's most emotionally naked collection to date, with songs like "Cold and Empty" and the album-opening "Rock n' Roll Pain Train" finding him looking at his life thus far and acknowledging that even an American Bad Ass needs to stop and smell the roses: "On that rock n' roll pain train/After the lights go down/I live out in the woods now/It helps me keep my feet on the ground/Life's been good to me so far/Hope it's been kind to you/Stand strong in the storms of life/The sun will always shine on you."
The album's stunning centerpiece is the epic "I Am," an anthemic statement of purpose in which Rock affirms his freedom as an artist and as an American. Patriotism is invoked all too often in these troubled times, but Rock has long put his money where his mouth is, performing for the United States Armed Forces whenever and wherever he has been called to serve, in both peacetime and in war.
None of which is to say that the original Pimp of the Nation has gone soft - far from it, in fact. "KID ROCK" is packed with a wide load of Rock's trademark good-time raucousness, from the swaggering cover of Bad Company's '70s classic, "Feel Like Makin' Love" (the album's first single), to the self-explanatory "Rock n' Roll," to "Son Of Detroit," Rock's chest-thumping autobiographical adaptation of outlaw country legend David Allen Coe's classic "Son Of The South" - "I'm a redneck rock and roll son of Detroit/I don't like no new wave techno bands around/I'm a drink a couple dozen beers, go out and jam some gears/I'm a longhaired redneck rock and roll son of Detroit."
Backed, as ever, by the amazing Twisted Brown Trucker - guitarists Kenny Olson and Jason Krause, keyboardist Jimmie Bones, and drummer Stefanie Eulinberg - Kid Rock also invited a few special guests to sit in. Blues guitar hero Kenny Wayne Shepherd and tenor man David McMurray kick out the jams on "Black Bob," while ZZ Top's one and only Billy Gibbons lends guest vocals (and beer!) to the rowdy "Hillbilly Stomp."
Elsewhere on "KID ROCK" - recorded at the Allen Roadhouse (north of Detroit, south of Heaven) - Rock is visited by some of his dearest friends and fans, such as Hank Williams Jr., who shares vocals on the outrageously bawdy rave-up, "Cadillac Pussy." Also joining in is Sheryl Crow, who collaborated with Rock on last year's hugely successful single, "Picture." The Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter co-wrote and sings backing vocals on "Run Off To L.A." A back-to-the-future highlight of the album is "Hard Night For Sarah," penned by Motor City icon Bob Seger. The song - which was recorded for Seger's 1979 classic "AGAINST THE WIND," but ended up on the cutting room floor - is Rock's way of spreading the word to a new generation about one of his all-time favorite songwriters.
"KID ROCK" closes with a poignant bonus song, "Single Father," co-written with David Allen Coe. The tender track - described by Rock as a "tearjerker" - is brutally honest and powerfully emotional, as Kid Rock expresses profound love for his son while lamenting the difficulties of being a one-man parent: "He says daddy explain/If it's not too much bother/While it's just you and me/Living here in this home/I don't understand it/And either does he/Why there's just two/When there should be three of us/Sharing this moment/Lord I feel so alone."
With this sonic powerhouse of a record, the Son of Detroit has crafted his bravest, ballsiest collection thus far - a wide-ranging, far-reaching assortment of songs that truly warrant the name "KID ROCK."
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In 1998, Kid Rock unleashed his major label debut, the classic "DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE." The album - which includes the smash singles/vi
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