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Kid Rock - Born Free

Kid Rock - Born Free

There’s a lot to be said for maturity. Anyone who’s raised kids can appreciate when a child grows and learns from experience and the passage of time. Our favorite artists are very much like our musical children. As we mature, and our tastes change, we often find the artists growing and changing right along with us. I can explain what I mean in two words really - Robert Plant. You get what I’m saying?

Well, yesterday’s Kid Rock was a “bad mamma-jamma from D-troit city,” with a foul mouth and a rap/rock sound that combined those genres with near perfection. Today’s Kid Rock, well, let’s just say that Kid Rock has not only turned over a new leaf, he's uprooted the entire tree. 

If you are a fan of Kid Rock’s “Polyfuze” or “Stoned Pimp” hardcore rap days, run for your life if you catch sight of this album. Hearing this will hurt you. You might even cry. I’m warning you.

If you’re like most people, and a fan of those middle years when Kid found the perfect balance of rap and hard rock, this album will surprise you with its extremely tame disposition. There’s no “Cowboy”-like songs here. Nothing remotely close to “Cocky” or “American Bad Ass” can be found here. This is mostly a collection of mellow Country tunes. It seems like Rock was trying to duplicate the success of his collaboration with Sheryl Crow on the hit single “Picture” from the Cocky CD. Many of these songs are in that same vein. There are some great melodies here, and the songs are well written and pretty catchy, they’re about as tame as a scared chipmunk. I can appreciate these songs, just not under the Kid Rock moniker. I like Neil Diamond, but I’d rather not hear Slayer cut an album that sounds like him.

 As I said, there are some very well written songs here. Some big name talent is employed on a few of these songs, too. You can find Sheryl Crow revisiting Rock for that same “Picture” chemistry (“Collide”), only this time she’s joined by Bob Seger. Country stars Martina McBride and Zac Brown, along with rapper T.I. can all be found lending their talents. There are also some excellent backup vocals spread throughout the disc. There is even a tune or two that gives a small wink toward the rock side of things. “God Bless Saturday” and “Rock Bottom Blues” are foot stompers, but most everything else is a stroll through the cornfields.

 “Care”……. “Purple Sky”……..”Slow My Roll”……..these are all good, catchy, well written songs from a guy that has obviously grown and matured. Instead of pissing off parents, he’s now writing some of their favorite tunes. But I personally miss the raw and vulgar, guitar driven rap/rock stuff that Kid Rock was so good at. With any luck, Kid Rock will plug in the guitars, buy himself a roll of Parental Advisory stickers, and get back to pimpin’ hookers and slammin' hoes for the next album.
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