Thursday, 21 August 2008

Review - Kid Rock - Rock 'n' Roll Jesus

Kid Rock - Rock 'n' Roll Jesus

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2 out of 10

How did this happen? Somehow, 18 years into his career, Robert James Ritchie (AKA Kid Rock, self-proclaimed "rock 'n' roll Jesus") from Detroit is enjoying unprecedented success. Produced by Green Day producer Rob Cavallo, 'Rock 'n' Roll Jesus' went to number one in the album charts in the US; he's been on the cover of 'Rolling Stone'; and 'All Summer Long' (More on that monstrosity later) was a number one single all over Europe. He's gone from supporting Ice Cube to singing with Sheryl Crow and it seems that the Southern Rock and country direction he took up in 2003 is paying dividends, although a return to his rap-rock roots is promised for his next LP. Great.

Here, the one-time American Badass is trying to appeal directly to the sinister heartland of America, although I'm not sure the evangelical community will approve of him saying he'll save our souls by sounding like Lenny Kravits. In the world of 'Rock 'n' Roll Jesus' soldiers are unquestionable good and lawyers are bad, and "our race relations got me feeling guilty of being white" (He sings on 'Amen'). It's cringing to listen to, especially in the context of Rock's other proclamations on race, like on the nu-metal 'Sugar': "I got lots of cash/But I'm not Jewish.If you have to ask/You can kiss my Anglo-Saxon ass". Despite his proclamations that he, "ain't no Nazi", and threats to "fuck U in the nose", Kid Rock views on race come across as backward to say the least. Later, he says he "makes black music for the white man" ('Lowlife'), but it doesn't sound like the clever self-criticism Eminem shows on 'Without Me'.

Kid Rock's longing for the good ole days of the Deep South reaches its peak on 'All Summer Long', but it's hard to believe that a millionaire who was married to Pamela Anderson; appeared in 'The Simpsons'; toured the world; and stood in as lead singer for Metallica really longs for the days when sat round a campfire with no money. Just like it's hard to take the reflection on 'Roll On' seriously ("I turned myself around"), when four minutes later on 'So Hott' he wants to get stoned with a women who "smells like sex" and then "fuck her like I'm never gonna see you again".

The soul searching on 'Blue Jeans And A Rosary' feels equally insincere, and then there's the weird blues of 'New Orleans' and the stabs at country on 'Half Your Age' and 'Lowlife (Living The Highlife)'. Kid Rock isn't American Badass, just bad.


1. Rock 'n' Roll Jesus
2. Amen
3. All Summer Long
4. Roll On
5. So Hott
6. Sugar
7. When U Love Someone
8. New Orleans
9. Don't Tell Me U Love Me
10. Blue Jeans And A Rosary
11. Half Your Age
12. Lowlife (Living The Highlife)

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