Those who still remember Uncle Kracker most for his work with Kid Rock may be surprised at the total transition he has made from rap rock to country over the course of his career. With Midnight Special, his first release on Sugar Hill Records, this transition is complete. The Detroit native proves that great songwriting and enjoyable musical presentation transcends genres. While the style is entirely country, the subject matter fits Detroit as well as it fits Nashville. It does not feel forced or fake for the singer.
The CD starts out strong with the humorous "You Got That Thang," and continues strong all the way through. There are no weak songs that you will find yourself skipping here.
However, if one has to choose highlights, "It Is What It Is," the duet with the fantastic Sonia Leigh, is certainly one. So is the first single from the CD, "Nobody's Sad on a Saturday Night," which sounds like a hit for certain.
"Who We Are" will have musicians and club-goers identifying with the lyrics, in which everyone wants to hear the old familiar songs and forget who they are for a while. It is reminiscent in tone to Billy Joel's "Piano Man."
Other standouts are "Happy," "In Between Disasters" (which sounds similar to a Jimmy Buffet tune and has great horns), and "Nuthin' Changes," with its emphatic lyric "Nothin' changes/Thank God!"
It's probably no coincidence that the producer on this CD is Keith Stegall, who also produces The Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson. He adds just enough Nashville to the sound, but not too much.
Uncle Kracker does laid-back, feel-good, contemporary country as well as such performers as The Zac Brown Band or Darius Rucker. If you enjoy them, or if you are a fan of any of Uncle Kracker's other more country-tinged work, you will enjoy this. Share it with some of your friends and family who like country music but may not be familiar with Uncle Kracker yet. They will thank you for it.