Kid Rock has had impressive longevity in his mainstream career up to this point.
The Michigan singer has had the unique ability to blend his music tastes with multiple music genres to create a wide fan base. Kid started out in rap back in the early ’90s. Then he found mainstream success with rap-rock. Shortly after finding his place as a superstar he switched gears into country performing with Hank Williams Jr. and having hits on the country charts with Picture and All Summer Long.
Kid Rock continues to break the rules in music by offering songs that multiple audiences love. He’s talented and knows how to make a melody like. That’s probably his best quality – creating songs people like.
Kid Rock’s latest album hit the street earlier this week and I have had a chance to play through it a few times. Here are my thoughts on each track.
Born Free – Kid Rock
1. Born Free
The lead off single from the album is the title track. It’s got a little Detroit Bob Seger feel to it. There is the powerful emotion in the lyrics as Kid Rock tells you to keep those chains off him. Being born in the US means being born with freedom. Kid avoids any politics in the song’s lyrics unless I’m missing a few things and I think that makes this a better song. He keep the lyrics simple and lets the melody and the passion in his voice express his feeling. It’s a statement song and one that kicks off the tone of this album well.
Listen to Born Free
2. Slow My Roll
Just like Born Free, Slow My Roll has a groovy, ’70s rock kind of feel. It’s got a nice tempo that keeps your feet tapping while the sounds come through the speakers. There is maturity in these lyrics. Perhaps this is a reflective album for the almost 40-year old Kid Rock. This song is a winner on the album.
Listen to Slow My Roll
3. Care featuring Martina McBride and TI
This is my favorite song on the entire album. It stars out a little weird with what I think is Kid Rock singing in a falsetto voice. The song gets amazing once you hear country music legend Martina McBride and rapper bad boy TI on the track. This kind of song collaboration is what I like about Kid Rock. He doesn’t care about any labels. He does what he wants. He isn’t the best singer, the best songwriter, or the best guitar player. He is one of the best at finding melodies that are catchy with stories people love.
Listen to Care
4. Purple Sky
I like the upbeat music in this song. It gets you listening from the first note. This song and this entire album actually have that ’70s feel as I mentioned before. Kind of Bob Seger and a little Jackson Browne. This song fits right in the mold and finds its place as a solid song on a strong album.
Listen to Purple Sky
5. When It Rains
A few cliches on this track. It’s a little slower than those that precede. The song is emotional. It’s about a loss. It seems to be about death, which has an emotional impact on all of us at some time in our lives. The song seems personal and the emotion comes out. It’s a solid song depending on the mood you’re in.
Listen to When It Rains
6. God Bless Saturday
The good times pick back up on this track. This song is all blue collar. Work through the week and live for the weekend. Saturdays are the best days for most people. There is no work and you can do whatever you want that makes you happy. This song sounds like it may be a single at some point or maybe make it on a few movie soundtracks.
Listen to God Bless Saturday
Sheryl Crow lends her vocals and Bob Seger lends his piano skills on this easy listening track. Is this Picture Part II? Kind of, but it’s got a little more groovy feel. I think Collide could definitely be a single especially on adult contemporary and maybe even country radio. The song is about two people that were together and left each other when things got crazy. Now they’re thinking about colliding again for another ride.
Listen to Collide
8. Flyin’ High
This song has a spoken word opening kind of like the classic country tracks of the ’70s. Zac Brown joins Kid on the track and things get groovy. The song is an ode to home. Kid’s home is Michigan and wherever you call home you can call this song your own as well. The song is perfect for a laid back Saturday night (see God Bless Saturday). Put this on when you’re chillin’ by the bonfire next summer.
Listen to Flyin’ High
9. Times Like These
Kid reflects on the times in this song. He looks at what’s going on in the world – the economy, the everyday life people are going through. I think the overall feel of the song could be a bit somber, but also positive. In the song Kid sings about the bittersweet times like shutting Detroit down (nod to John Rich) paired with the love that people still have for each other and for life. We’ll always remember who we were during these times and that’s the point of the song. Stay positive.
Listen to Times Like These
10. Rock On
This track is mellow. It sets the pace back a bit, but it’s a solid song. It’s one you may pass when you’re listening to the album, but when you’re in the right mood this song will suit you well. A person is leaving a lover and moving on with their life. Things are over. It’s a common emotion and one that fits well in this song.
Listen to Rock On
11. Rock Bottom Blues
Things get bluesy on this song. There is some interesting instruments on this one including some great harmonica. The song is about good friends, good joints (bars, bonfires, etc.) and enjoying some good music. This is another song that’s perfect for a little dancing at the local tavern or around the fire. It’s fun and groovy.
Listen to Rock Bottom Blues
12. For The First Time (In A Long Time)
More high voice on this track. It’s a little weird, but it kind of works. The song is about Kid feeling like he’s finally in control of the major things in his life. Most of us can feel used for most of our lives. When we finally become the person we always wanted to be it’s a great feeling. This is Kid’s song about his own dream come true life.
Listen to For The First Time (In A Long Time)