No Stranger to Shame Explicit Lyrics
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Originally Release '02 , Second album from Kid Rock's turntable Wizard , a collection of willowy jangle rock with Motown and rap influences thrown in. Executive produced by Kid Rock.
Uncle Kracker might have rap-rock numbskull Kid Rock to thank for putting him on the map, but with the release of his solid sophomore set, the Michigan mauler can stand up and take a bow. For not only is Uncle Kracker the most Southern-sounding musician ever to emerge from the edge of the Great Lakes, he's also one of the most versatile. As such, No Stranger to Shame is by turns country, rock, soul, blues, and sometimes a vigorous mix of the lot. The horn-section-goosing opening track "I Do" is pure Stax with a little '70s-era thwacketa-thwacketa guitar menace; "Thunderhead Hawkins," with its drawling vocals and slide guitar, is pure Arkansas front-porch boogaloo; "Memphis Soul Song" is just that; "To Think I Used to Love You" could have been torn from the Merle Haggard songbook; and "Keep It Comin'" is fierce hip-hop. A ballad, "Letter to My Daughters," is sweet if unnervingly sappy (think Bob Carlisle's "Butterfly Kisses"), while Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath adds negligible freight to the title track. But No Stranger to Shame's finest moment is a borrowed one--a faithful cover of Dobie Gray's inspirational rock & roll love letter, "Drift Away." An underappreciated classic from the early '70s, "Drift Away" still sounds relevant, and Kracker's soulful version--featuring Gray himself--will do much to spotlight that comforting old chestnut. --Kim Hughes
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Top Customer Reviews
This time, Uncle Kracker has decided to adopt a more straightforward, radio hit friendly approach. Rap is almost absent, only present on three songs, and the emphasis is placed on just writing good, fun pop tunes. I don't consider this selling out, since the rap dominance of the debut was probably due at least in part to Kid Rock's extensive co-writing credits. On this album, Kracker is merely trying to get out from under Kid Rock's shadow, and get attention for his own style. On the plus side, there are more individual songs that stand out this time around, as opposed to the original, where much of the second half of Double Wide blended together and coasted on a good vibe. Thankfully, Kracker hasn't gone completely Sugar Ray on us (despite that band's singer making a negligible guest appearance on the title track), since he jumps back and forth from country, to blues, to funk, and to simple radio friendly pop tracks.
Standouts include the oughta-be huge single "In A Little While", which takes the standard "summer song" sound, ala LFO and Sugar Ray, and finally does it right, with a surprisingly emotional chorus. "To Think I Used To Love You" is a straight-up country song, which is really catchy, and avoids the typical country sappiness (unfortunately, "Letter To My Daughters" does not, but it's a pretty song anyway). The cover of "Drift Away" accomplishes little that the original didn't, but it's one of my favorite songs anyway, and since it fits here, I'm always glad to hear it again. "Memphis Soul Song" is the ballad that should have been a hit instead of "Follow Me". It's lyrically rich, and a beautiful song in general. And "Baby Don't Cry" is a powerful blues wail about moving on from a bad relationship.
If there's a shortcoming with this album, it's that it lacks the quality that has made all Kid Rock / Twisted Brown Trucker related albums up to this point favorites of mine, and that is the fusion of disparate musical elements into a new sound. There are a lot of influences here, but each song can be easily labelled "Pop song", "Country Song", "Funk Song", etc. The only times that the classic TBT fusion is allowed to return are in the three rap numbers, the best of which is "Keep It Comin'", a great tune with a riff that rocks harder than almost anything on Double Wide. Overall, this is a solid follow up to a great debut album, and if it's less original or interesting, it will at least be a lot easier for people to digest, and there's something to be said for that too.
1. Keep It comin'
5. Drift Away
12. No Stranger To Shame
if you have not listened to this cd then i recommend you do