I don’t think there has ever been more polarizing artist than Kid Rock. People either hate him or love him. “Pure” Country fans think he is a crossover artist looking to cash in. Despite Kid winning a CMT Music Award in 2009. Hip hop fans think he is too rock. The metal heads find him to be too southern rock. Truth be told Kid Rock is a chameleon that has found his niche in “story telling” with a backdrop of blue collar music.
In 2005 Kid Rock and longtime collaborator and guitar phenom Kenny Olson parted ways over money. Kid Rock’s next two releases “Rock n Roll Jesus” and “Born Free” converted a lot of the doubters to bandwagon Kid Rock fans. Kid Rocks latest outing “First Kiss” is not going to convert many new listeners or impress his current fan base.
The opening tune and title track “First Kiss” is a Bryan Adams/John Melloncamp tinged tune about days gone past in America. This is the same flag waving, sitting on the tailgate with a beer, your dog and your best girl country rock that Kid Rock has paid the bills with for the past few years. Sadly the album peaks on its first tune. “First Kiss’ is not as good as 2012’s lukewarm release “Rebel Soul” and no where as good as the critically acclaimed “Born Free”.
Kid Rock fans will find plenty of sing-a-long along, drink-a-long tunes like the groove infected “Johnny Cash” and the honky-tonk shuffle “Good Times, Cheap Wine”. However if you are looking for the next “All Summer Long”, “Born Free” or “Rock N Roll Jesus” it is not on this album.
Look for “First Kiss” to be the soundtrack of the trailer parks and NASCAR tailgates this summer. Just don’t look for it to break any records in the charts.