CD Review: Kid Rock

Born Free (Atlantic)

We could really use the old Kid Rock right now. As an alternative to hipster indie rockers who like irony almost as much as their PBRs, a filthy loudmouth who digs Stetsons, rapping, and shredding would be a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, that Kid Rock is nowhere to be found on Born Free. Instead, we get the kinda-twangy Mom Rocker who comes off as a complete softie next to someone like Brad Paisley, who has Rock beat in both wit and guitar playing these days. Still, Born Free is a tuneful album, and it's surprising how fluid Rock sounds harmonizing over generic Lynyrd Skynyrd riffs in "God Bless Saturday." But in "Care," rapper T.I. is left mumbling in the background while Rock and country singer Martina McBride howl all over the song, which gives you an idea how much Rock cares about a genre he used to be so strongly associated with.

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