Album: Kid Rock

Rock N Roll Jesus (Atlantic)
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The Independent Culture

His trailer-trash reputation may have served Kid Rock well in establishing him as a sort of Beverly Hillbillies-style entryist into American celebrityhood, but there are signs here that he's softening. He seems set on emulating Springsteen, lacing his tough sound with soul inflections and blaring sax, professing the kind of liberal pinko sentiments that seem incongruous from a self-glorifying, sexist, drug-fiend bad lad. He's not entirely reconstructed, as cock-rockers like "Sugar", "Don't Tell Me You Love Me" and "So Hott" confirm; but "Amen", with its tour of issues (starving children, dying soldiers, child-molesting preachers) and "let's be nice to one another" conclusion, suggests that the Kid has developed a conscience. Being American, it manifests itself in a somewhat oversentimental manner in tracks like the childhood reminiscence "All Summer Long", the reflection on his "rollercoaster" life "Roll On", and the clichéd truckstop-angel salvation fantasy "Blue Jeans and a Rosary". But the Kid's no fool, knowing just how much publicity he can scare up with the blasphemous bravado of the title track. Bless him.

Download this: 'Rock N Roll Jesus', 'All Summer Long', 'Lowlife (Living the Highlife)'