Kid Rock – Sweet Southern Sugar (2017)

Believe it or not, Kid Rock is still around these days. He transitioned from being a rapper to a rock star, onto doing his own brand of country based music. This, his latest release is a surprisingly good listen. Let’s check it out.

We start off with some native American sounds and trippy backdrop of Greatest Show On Earth before marching into a droptuned piece that sounds great. Some great lyrics are here as well. Kid Rock sounds better than ever here. It’s an excellent piece that sounds, once again, different to anything Kid Rock has done before. It’s catchy as well, with a great guitar solo. Nice way to start, dude.

The follow up song Po-Dunk has a great set of riffs to start with. It leads into a harmony heavy song about a southern girl. It’s a very country style song, but doesn’t sound anything like old country and western songs. It’s Kid Rock in the 21st century for all of us to hear. It’s a quirky and wonderful listen for all to hear. It has many different riffs and samples here, a nice tune.

Tennessee Mountain Hop alludes to good tunes and good times, and lyrically refers to Johnny Depp. Ironically, Kid Rock dissed him on his first album. But hey, this song will make you feel good. That is what great music is about though, it sounds so good that you will refreshed afterwards. It’s an ode to classic rock as well, with references to God as well. An excellent tune, and a shining moment on the album. It is picturesque this song for sure.

I Wonder is an attempt at a postmodern sounding country piece. It’s a loop and electronic based piece. It’s a little weaker but still, it’s Kid Rock. It breaks into a rock heavy song, with a blistering guitar solo. It gets better as it goes along, however, with Kid Rock pleading about a lover that he misses. A good listen anyway.

The next song, American Rock ‘n’ Roll is a pacing, drum driven song about said topic and having a good time. It is a great song for the purpose of music alone. It’s a gentle and driven listen, a classic Kid Rock song for sure. A blistering guitar solo will blow you away here, a decent tune. The chorus is very much a singalong one.

The follow up Back to the Otherside is an acoustic driven piece. It’s about keeping on through tough times, which isn’t sung about much these days. Self-preservation is the theme here, a great anti-Nine Inch Nails sort of song. A good effort. Positivity is the main point.

Raining Whiskey is another acoustic number. It talks about a place that one cannot go back to with a lover. It references a dark place where one goes to drink away their own pain. It’s a good listen with some old fashioned touches about it, which is reflective lyrically. A chilled out sort of vibe is on this tune.

Stand The Pain is another good piece about dealing with issues. It’s a wonderfully constructed and orchestrated piece. Kid Rock knows how to make good music for sure, even at over 40 years old. The theme of keeping strong goes on throughout this album, which is essentially a positive one. The outro is full on.

Up next is Sugar Pie Honey Bunch which is a love song. Kid Rock seems overly serious on this record, which is unusual for him to be so. It’s a quieter and more meaningful listen compared to the other songs on the album. It’s very moving. It’s very committed to a love in Kid Rock’s life, be it real or metaphorically speaking.

The last song on the album is Grandpa’s Jam, is an out there, more rock and roll based. It’s very explicit, and fittingly so. It’s Kid Rock being selfish again, but it rocks hard. A good way to complete the album with a hard rock sort of vibe. A good listen, despite a lot of selfish swearing.

This album is quite good. It shows Kid Rock still has his mojo after all the years of being a musician. Hopefully he keeps on going as he ages. His records are still very consistent, if you like what is written here about Kid Rock, give this a listen.

8/10

Kid Rock – First Kiss (2015)

Kid Rock has slowly transitioned from (believe it or not) rapper to country rock artist over the years. It has been an interesting transition, although many consider the Devil Without A Cause album his best. It wasn’t specifically, he has had many highlights in his musical career. But this release in 2015 shows that, despite the age of rock and roll, Kid Rock still rocks hard. This is a great listen, let’s dive in.

First Kiss kicks off the album. It looks in retrospect to a simpler and more rural time in Kid Rock’s life with basic things in life. The whole thing sounds melancholy in general. But hey, it’s a great radio ready song for people to enjoy. Isn’t that what rock and roll is about? Yes it is. Great song. The guitar solo is fantastic towards the end.

Good Times, Cheap Wine is about exactly that. It sounds super bluesy and country like. Kid Rock knows the history of rock and roll very well. He insists the things he digs and doesn’t dig, mainly the latter. It’s easy to dance along to, and sounds wicked. There is some good slide guitar here as well. Not a bad listen. “You can try to change me, or love me just the way I am,” he sings. A great statement.

The next song is by far the greatest on this album. An ode to a great musician himself, Johnny Cash is a chilled summer vibe tune about having fun with a girl as well. The guitar used here is likely a great sounding Fender Telecaster. It’s a classic song, and deserves a good listen.

The anti Socialist rant Ain’t Enough Whiskey is a weak point on the album. Kid Rock these days is a big Donald Trump supporter, which is rather silly for a guy like Kid Rock to like a person like him. But in any case, it’s obviously aimed squarely at Barack Obama. The chorus is a great devotion to getting trashed though, which is better than the rest of the song.

Drinking Beer With Dad is definitely a good song though. It’s about drinking and playing tunes on the back porch with one’s old man. Yes, Mr. My Oedipus Complex has some respect for his late father here. It’s a really touching song, and definitely worth listening if you dig Country Rock. A nice statement.

Good Time Lookin’ for Me is about just that, and is a sort of redneck country thing that Kid Rock does nowadays. It sounds very much like a strain of country that nobody does anymore. Still, it’s a good listen on the album. This album flows very nicely, and there is some great guitar work here. A nice piece.

The next song Best Of Me has Kid Rock comparing himself to others, and then stating that he is giving his best to others in life, namely a love he has. He does really well here in this ballad. It sounds so soulful and well delivered. The female backing vocals are very reassuring. A nice organ and guitar driven piece. Even in old age, Kid Rock delivers well.

The next piece starts off weird, but then, here we go! One More Song delivers so well, and is a great piece about music. Yep, Kid Rock talks about some difficulties in his life, and adds that the music will save him, and us. It’s so true, and surely we all agree with that. It’s so emotional and catchy too.

Jesus and Bocephus is a spiritual piece about Kid Rock meeting said Jesus in a said spiritual confrontation. It’s another emotional and moving piece which is a bit of a tearjerker. It has some eastern sounding strings in it, ironically. But it has some reflective lyrics in it. A slow piece, but just sounds great.

FOAD is a pretty direct song. The politically incorrect version, which is FOAD, is on most album versions, and the other version, Say Goodbye, also is around on the internet for listening. It’s a good way to finish the album, but sounds a little twisted. But hey, it’s Kid Rock for you.

This album is a great modern day throwback to the older styles of music that are slowly dying out over time. It’s a great thing to hear, especially in the day and age of Rap and RnB, this is a breath of fresh air. Give it a listen if you can.

8/10

Kid Rock – Devil Without A Cause (1998)

Kid Rock seemingly came out of nowhere with this album, but he had spent many years trying to make it. He had three hit and miss albums prior to this landmark release, Devil Without A Cause. He had been arrested and thrown into jail overnight in 1997 upon being signed to his first major label recording deal. However, despite this, this album changed everything.

Bawitdaba begins our journey, and it has some awesome rap like chanting and screaming before bursting into a great rap/rock piece about Kid Rock’s world. It’s got some awesomely humourous and classy lyrics in it. A must listen – and a Kid Rock classic. The guitar riffs are just killer.

Cowboy follows, and is really very funny. It’s got a great chorus and lyrics otherwise. “Riding at night, because I sleep all day.” Cue the hysterical jokes. But that aside, it’s a great musical piece. Kid Rock does well here. Excellent stuff. Laugh out loud funny.

The title track Devil Without A Cause has the most funktastic wah-wah riff introducing us to the said devil himself, Kid Rock. This guy obviously knows how to rock a party, but does it in such a fantastic way that is imitable. The Kid has come of age here, and he would never look back.

The next piece was an early recording re-released for this album. I Am The Bullgod refers to god-knows-what. But it’s a catchy and upbeat piece, and great to listen to. It’s a classic Kid Rock piece, referring to himself as top dog and a pot god. What a legend.

Roving Gangster (Rollin’) is a funky and musically layered and textured piece telling us a little bit about Kid Rock, touring with Ice Cube when he was younger. He also refers to himself as a trucker and various other things. Yep, Kid Rock is self-obsessed but it’s a great listen nonetheless.

Wasting Time is about what Kid Rock likes to do best in his spare time. Believe it or not, the melodies and lyricism stand out well here. It’s not even a standout track but holds up well. “A little bit of love, that’s all I need. A little inspiration, and a bag of weed.” Classy.

The extended Welcome 2 the Party (Ode 2 the Old School) is a great old school rap like piece. It’s got many different sections and different elements to it, and Kid Rock lets loose towards the end. It’s fantastic, proof that Kid Rock was only just beginning in his musical path in life.

The funktastic I Got One for Ya’ is a great song with Kid Rock’s IDGAF attitude prevalent on it. It’s another great pastiche here, with a great outro. How does he do music like this? Only Kid Rock knows, or so we think.

Somebody’s Gotta Feel This is a rock/metal piece that delivers just really well to the listener and sounds rather Black Sabbath-like in its phrasing. It’s mega cool, and Kid Rock sounds inspired here.

Fist Of Rage is a screamer and shows how good Kid Rock is at vocal delivery. It features some well mixed and variable sounds here. It’s almost heavy metal here, except that Kid Rock is delivering it. Well done.

The answer to where Kid Rock gets his inspiration as the Devil Without A Cause is here: Only God Knows Why. It was written as a self-expression type piece starting during that night in jail but becomes a great serious song on its own. It’s self-obsessed as well for sure, but it is really touching as well. Not too bad here.

And after all that, we have a not-so-serious song at all, the rather awful but direct Fuck Off. Yes, that is what it is called. Anyway, it’s got some interesting lyrics. And guess what? An early Eminem part is here at the end, showing Kid Rock’s foresight in terms of recognising future talent. Interesting in that respect. In between this song and the next one, we have some real Kid Rock answering machine messages, which sound brutal. What a devil.

Where U At Rock follows, it’s a relatively catchy piece with Kid Rock showing some attitude here. It’s a little weaker as a song compared to some of the others, but it’s still Kid Rock being himself. Which isn’t a bad thing really, at least on record.

Black Chic, White Guy / I Am The Bullgod is a two-piece track. The first is a messed up true life story about Kid Rock’s life, a bad experience with an ex-girlfriend of his. The latter is a very good rework of I Am The Bullgod, which depending on your view, is either good or unnecessary. But it’s good anyway.

This record went platinum many times over and made Kid Rock famous. It’s a good record full of twists and turns, by a very humourous and selfish person, Kid Rock. Like him or not, he is here to stay in the music world and is no doubt very good at what he does.

8/10

Kid Rock – Cocky (2001)

After the unexpected success of Devil Without A Cause and The History of Rock, Kid Rock at last had made it. He was working very consistently, and delivered this album after those two, showing he had a great musical talent and lyrical trashing to boot.

This is not Devil Without A Cause #2. It is an interesting and wonderful record to say the least, and confirmed Kid Rock’s staying power and sonic ability to rock your life.

We start off with Trucker Anthem, with its super long intro and musical assault. It sounds different to the last two albums, showing the variety that Kid Rock had in his arsenal. It’s a good intro to a killer album.

Forever follows and is a statement of self purpose by Kid Rock. It sounds so loud, heavy and bluesy that it pales some of his previous work in comparison in this regard. It’s a catchy piece and worth listening to. It also mentions his musical influences in the chorus, which is fascinating.

The follow up is Lay It On Me. It’s a down and dirty tune by Kid Rock about, you-know-what. It’s got a soulful chorus though. Not bad, especially considering the content. There’s a cool piano led outro too.

Cocky is the album’s title track, and has Kid Rock dissing just about everyone over his success. “They say I’m cocky/And I say what?!/It ain’t bragging motherfucker if you back it up.” Sums it up, really. But it’s super catchy, despite the lyrics being how they are.

The following song, What I Learned Out On The Road is a strange tale of travels and pursuits on tour and in general. It’s a good reflective piece on life doing music each night. It’s a well done piece. By this part of the album, we can hear a much wider variety of influences in Kid Rock’s music than ever before, which is a good thing.

I’m Wrong, But You Ain’t Right is an aggressive, metal like piece that has Kid Rock pointing the finger at virtually everyone who attacks him, or giving them the finger. It’s a weaker song, but still very good anyway. The guitar solo breakdown is awesome.

The next song, Lonely Road Of Faith, is so much like a Led Zeppelin piece but it’s about a different sort of topic than what Led Zeppelin would cover. Still, it’s a nice ballad to boot and makes a change from the other songs on the album. It ends with beautiful piano, and sounds mint.

You Never Met A Motherfucker Quite Like Me talks about Kid Rock’s self-importance, yet again. It has some interesting arrangements and instrumentation and the chorus is so uplifting that it’s brilliant. At least Kid Rock has a sense of humour and doesn’t take himself too seriously, as we can hear here.

One of Kid Rock’s best songs, Picture, talks about heartaches involved with romance. It features Sheryl Crow and not for the last time, either. It’s a good piece, and a rare deep and meaningful from Kid Rock. A beautiful piece indeed, only ruined by a horrendous guitar solo in the middle. Fortunately, the rest of the song is great.

I’m A Dog is perhaps referring to Kid Rock’s attitude as he goes out into the world. Note that Kid Rock is very self obsessed. This song continues that trend, but although it is a weaker song, it kicks ass.

The next song, Midnight Train To Memphis is a tale of distress in relationships. It is rather slow to start with, but quickly changes into a rocker. Still, it’s not the best Kid Rock song ever, but it’s an okay listen.

Baby Come Home is a lot better, with a catchy slide guitar riff. It’s so cool, a perfect mixture of blues and country, which is a rare thing despite rock and roll beginning from that fusion. It’s a cool story about chasing a girl and trying to find her in the world. There’s a banjo in there, too.

The last main track on the album, Drunk In The Morning is a multi sectioned piece. It begins as a slow lament, before bursting into a loud and heavy rocker that is just fantastic. It just has the attitude that everyone should feel in their lives. It follows a quiet-loud dynamic, similar to what Nirvana would do.

WCSR is terrible. It is a supposed bonus track which, despite featuring Snoop Dogg and  mentioning an interesting story with Bill Clinton (regardless of whether it is true or not), it is awful. Should not have been put on the record. Avoid this one.

So, at this point, Cocky is a good record, not a great one. It didn’t sell as many copies as Devil Without A Cause. It’s rather patchy at times, but it definitely rocks in many different ways. To own this is a joy though. Kid Rock is still making great music today, unlike many older rock artists. It’s solid enough. The album cover showed that Kid Rock was definitely cocky. What a legend.

8/10

Kid Rock – The History Of Rock (2000)

Kid Rock was on a roll. After the release of his third album Devil Without A Cause, he finally broke into the mainstream and never looked back. Or at least we thought so. He decided to rework some of his older songs, as he now had the time and money to do so. It was a good move.

This album is mostly reworked songs he has done before, but the reworked pieces here are brilliant. There are some new songs as well to sink our teeth into, so let’s observe what Kid Rock has on offer here.

There is a short Intro which plays a track Kid Rock made way back in the 1980s, along with a deep voiceover summarising why we are here.

The first track leads us onto the single and tune named American Bad Ass. This heavily samples Metallica’s Sad But True and is a great rock song by Kid Rock. It shows off his selfish lyrical style and bent, but is just fantastic to listen to. An awesome rock/metal song with wicked guitar solos.

Prodigal Son is Kid Rock’s rework of the original. The original was fun, but this version is much better and shows Kid Rock excelling at singing and interesting guitar work. It’s a good one to listen to.

Paid is next and is a semi-disco funky track. It’s pretty direct “I’ll be in the house getting paid like Trump”. Mint, it sounds unusual and awesome simultaneously.

The follow up is Early Mornin’ Stoned Pimp. The rework here is far better than the original, getting fellow rapper and midget Joe C to do the main reworked part of the song. Fantastic and fun. Joe C was part of the Twisted Brown Trucker band that Kid Rock assembled for musical purposes.

The strange and punky Dark And Grey follow, which is a rather weak track. Still, it has some selfishly loveable lyrics in it. It is quite short, so not too overwhelming.

3 Sheets To The Wind (What’s My Name) is a great song which has a crowd chanting Kid Rock’s name. It’s a decent call and response song. It’s not hugely different from the original, however.

Abortion is a terrible song, even for Kid Rock. Ironically, it was a new release at the time as well. Kid Rock could do much better than this song, and it should have been removed from the recording.

The ode to younger days is here in I Wanna Go Back. It’s a great rework of the original that sounds punchy and reflective on Kid Rock spending time on his music when younger. It’s an awesome piece.

‘Ya Keep On is a fantastic rework of the original and breathes life into the song itself. The backing singers sound truly wonderful here and add depth and emotion to this song.

Fuck That is a trashy song but with a catchy chorus. It’s a typical Kid Rock song, with some diverse musical influences in it, however.

The rework of Fuck You Blind is so much better than the original, that it turns crap into lyrical gold. It’s a sleazy, funky piece which demands heavy listening. It’s a great song. It has the most explicit lyrics in it, which adds value to the song.

The Yardbirds direct rip off Born 2 B A Hick is fun but so obviously unoriginal that maybe The Yardbirds could sue Kid Rock for this song. Who knows? But it’s a short song prior to the final piece on the album.

The last song is a rework of the highly controversial My Oedipus Complex which is a multi-faceted rant about Kid Rock being overparented by his father. It’s intense listening if you are up to it. It sounds like a million dollars compared to the original. The album is silent for a while after this song finishes before the deep voiceover through the album stating the main Kid Rock ending the lesson.

So after studying Kid Rock, we learn our lessons of the greatest songs by Kid Rock. Although Devil Without A Cause sold more and broke Kid Rock into the mainstream, this is the one to have. It’s a very good listen indeed. Kid Rock afterwards went gradually more and more country in his music and began ranting on about supporting Donald Trump. This album, on the other hand, is far more important than that. It’s a great listen.

8/10