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This review is from: Born Free (Audio CD)
Being a Kid Rock fan since way back when, I was already prepared and pre-warned that what was going to be on this album was not the hip-hop or metal stuff, but a more classic feel. Now, after hearing the album, I can say I'm not overly disappointed, but I feel there was a little too much focus on production rather then making a hit song. Kid Rock stated he wanted to make more songs like "Picture" & "Only God Knows Why" but I honestly don't think anything on this album comes close to being as memorable. I'm not saying the album is bad at all, it's just I think Rick Rubin may have focused on the wrong aspects of the production of this album rather then what really mattered. I first heard Rick Rubin's work back in 1995 when he produced AC/DC's "Ballbreaker" album, and despite what others may have to say about it, I think he did a great job of it. On this album, I'm not sure why Rubin wanted to replace Kid Rock's band "The Twisted Brown Truckers" with other musicians. As someone has already stated in their review too, "why? There is nothing special about the musical aspect of this album" which I couldn't agree more with. Tho I could hear a difference between how what the TBT and this band would have done it, it's not that noticeable a difference, and i'm sure Rick Rubin could have gotten the exact same sound out of them.
"Born Free" is a decent track, starting off sounding country then progressing into somewhere between classic rock and southern blues with a pop element mixed into it.
"Slow My Roll" sounds a bit like a Creedence Clearwater Revival song, then rolling into a ZZ-Top goes countryish. Not bad, but could easily be forgettable.
"Care" - This track I felt didn't belong on the album, the whole hip-hop/rap lyric thing mixed into a country song just didn't work here, at least not in my opinion. I thought i'd heard this song before, and sounded kinda cheap.
"Purple Sky" - Kicks off with a country/blues upbeat, then rolls into something that reminds me of "All Summer Long" re-written into this tune. It's a decent track tho.
"When It Rains", starts off a little slow, but is one of the best tracks of this album to me. I guess we'd all like to forget what we have learned and live back when we didn't know what we know now, so anyone can relate to this song.
"God Bless Saturday" - Kicking off with a low dirty southern guitar riff, then into something that reminds me of "Takin' Care of Business" with more Creedence Clearwater Revival lyrics over it. Not a bad song either.
"Collide" - I know a lot of you love Sheryl Crow, and even Bob Seger, but I do not know what is so special about this song? I think too many people are aware of Sheryl & Kid doing "Picture" so they have skipped to this song for that reason, but I still say, it's no "Picture", it doesn't come close.
"Flyin' High" - Kid Rock stated that this album would not be him screaming out his own name anymore, but quite frankly, I am pretty sick of hearing about his love of Detroit now. It almost seems to be a bit of a rehash of the song he and Uncle Kracker did called "Heaven" which was a lot better.
"Times Like These" - easily forgettable.
"Rock On" - At first I wondered if this was a cover of the classic song of the same title, but it's not. at this point i was also tired of hearing the "1,2,3" intro. I couldn't help but feel this slow, almost balled was just the same song I had been hearing all through this album. Kid wrote on his last album "It's the same old song spinnin' but the same songs always the same" which is evident here. Again, easily forgettable.
"Rock Bottom Blues" - It's still a low down country sound, but with the harmonicas and more upbeat drums, things begin to pick up again. Some parts of this song remind me of previous Kid Rock songs he has done, in particular "Rock N Roll Paintrain" but it's still one of the better numbers on this album.
"For the First Time In a Long Time" - Ok, by now, we get it, OK? Kid Rock's clouds have lifted and he enjoys life. However, this doesn't even sound like Kid Rock. Singing in a rather high key, if someone played this to you, and you had no idea who it was, you probably would not guess it's Kid. But then when the backing vocals of the chorus kick in, you'd probably think it does. It's not a bad song, but not one i'd say is a favorite.
Overall; I just don't hear the stand out tracks, if this was meant to be more "Picture", "Only God Knows Why", "Blues Jeans & A Rosery" then I'm afraid I just did not hear anything on this album that matched up against those classics. There is some decent stuff to be heard here, but I think all the hype I was hearing about this album has just left me feeling a little let down. It's a much better album then a lot of artists 2010 releases i've heard, but I don't think you will find that smash hit by Kid Rock emerge from this album, or hear that this is another Grammy/CMA award winning album.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 16, 2010 4:17:01 PM PST
R. Wangelin says:
Completely agree with this review. I wouldn't say any of the songs are "bad" but other than "Born Free" each song is forgettable.
Posted on Nov 17, 2010 7:34:39 AM PST
"I haven't looked too deep into the writing of this record but if you get a chance, pleeeease check out "Telephone Romeo" by Jason Boland and the Stragglers... It's Purple Sky but with two different lines... I don't have a booklet for this album so I'm not sure where the writing credits are going but it's quite funny in similarity.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2010 6:06:07 PM PST
Lisa Wegner says:
Jason Boland does have a writing credit on that song. Kid has been upfront that it is a remake. He talks about it in a Billboard interview here http://www.billboard.com/news/kid-rock-th
Posted on Nov 20, 2010 12:28:10 PM PST
Debra L. Caswell says:
I disagree. I like the new Kid Rock, didn't like the past albums except for a few songs. I LOVE the fact that he listened to the advice to fill the hole out there for a classic rock sound. I keep playing it over and over again. I have nearly worn out Rock and Roll Jesus. Love his new sound, and the country influence.
Posted on Nov 21, 2010 12:17:10 PM PST
In cog neat-O says:
Excellent review! I love Kid rock. (not the rap.. but, his newer rock) This album, just isn't grabbing me though.
Posted on Nov 22, 2010 5:01:34 PM PST
David Prochnow says:
I found Kid Rock's "Times Like These" the most memorable song on the American Music Awards show last night, yet your review calls it "easily forgettable." Interesting how two people can hear the same thing and come away with totally different viewpoints. That's not a criticism of you, and I appreciate your thorough review of the album.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2010 6:55:55 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 27, 2010 12:04:49 PM PST
I dig Kid's new country-bluegrass sound, which reminds me of the transformation The Black Crowes have gone through in the last 2-3 years. However... his song-writing skills are dreadful.
Rock needs some help writing tunes. He's got the sound down, but the writing is severely lacking. I'm tired of the fifth-grade level metaphors and the cliches and the, "I'm all grown up now. Oh, how I miss being young" theme, which is prevalent in every one of these songs.
I've always been a fan of Kid and always will. He still has potential to become what he wants to be.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2010 8:59:25 PM PST
chris flentke says:
Hey i like it and so do a whole lot of other people as it went right to number 1.
Posted on Dec 2, 2010 4:50:29 PM PST
G. Brancheau says:
Wow... You totally have no clue. The songs you label as "forgettable", I.E. "Rock On" and "Times Like These" Are some of the most heartfelt songs on the album. Also, you tend to compare every song rather that explain teach song as a work of art itself. I'm sure you didn't like picture the first few times either.
Let's let the album speak for itself. Lyrically, it has a lot of depth and emotion. Musically it is more country with a little classic rock influence.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2010 5:55:57 PM PST
Larry Davis says:
Has Kid been upfront that the song "Born Free" is a blatant ripoff of a song by Welsh rockers the Manic Street Preachers??? Their song "Australia"!!! Kid takes their chorus melody and uses it on the verses over and over...annotying