Kid Rock has never been on my radar much as this column generally avoided rap-rock like the plague. However it seems that his last few albums are more country-rock with a twist than anything rap related. Well, Rebel Soul is certainly rap-less and for that I am thankful. There are touches of funk and at times Kid Rock comes across as a country-fried Prince.
You could be a bit picky as say that this release has a couple too many tracks on it. A few of them just don’t live up to the quality of the rest of the selections. However nothing on here is bad enough to have you reaching for your forward button in annoyance. A few critics have criticized this album for being a tad low-tech. I kind of like the raw vibe which adds to overall credibility of the entire thing.
From the bawdy opener “Chickens in a Pen” through great tracks like “Redneck Paradise”, there is a great party quality to this whole disc. Another standout track is “Cocaine & Gin” which sees Rock doing his best impression of Sunset Strip sleaze. Then again, that subtext of a redneck Prince enhances the sleaze element on here.
There are certainly tracks on here that rival his big U.S. country hit “All Summer Long”. It is very interesting to follow Kid Rock’s evolving musical career from hip-hop hero to country rock icon. You know he has managed to pull it off when you see him on several NASCAR broadcasts over this year, including a spot in the championship weekend a few days ago.
One has to wonder what is next for the guy. Maybe he will hook up with a couple of journeyman metal-heads (or his buddies in Metallica) and put out a heavy rock album next. Check out Rebel Soul and you might just be surprised by your reaction.