Released By : Atlantic Records
Genre : Southern Rock, Alt. Country
Links : http://www.kidrock.com/
1. Born Free
2. Slow My Roll
3. Care (Feat. Martina McBride & T.I)
4. Purple Sky
5. When It Rains
6. God Bless Saturday
7. Collide (Feat. Sheryl Crow & Bob Seger)
8. Flyin’ High (Feat. Zac Brown)
9. Times Like These
10. Rock On
11. Rock Bottom Blues
12. For The First Time In A Long Time
KID ROCK has never been a conventional rock star, and from the early white boy rap days of albums like GRITZ SANDWHICHES FOR BREAKFAST and EARLY MORNIN’ STONED PIMP, through to the more nu-metal inspired DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE and COCKY era all the way through to the newer country and southern rock inspired sound of the last couple of albums, we’ve never quite known what to expect when it’s been time for a new album. This latest effort BORN FREE, finds KID ROCK in a comfort zone and is clearly the work of somebody that has grown as an artist and found much happiness in what the lavish lifestyle of celebrity can bring.
BORN FREE is best described as a somewhat southern rock record, but there are elements of country music, some pure Americana music and a slight hint of gospel without being too in your face to affect anything. Think someone like BOB SEGER (who actually contributes some piano playing on this album), BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN or even maybe someone like HANK WILLIAMS and you’ll have a general idea on the base sound of this album.
Opening track and obvious lead-off single BORN FREE as about as anthemic as a song can get and while in itself nothing amazing, the instantly recognizable earnestness in ROCK’S voice makes it something special for long-time fans like myself. SLOW MY ROLL could have easily been originally recorded by the ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND but is still very enjoyable. CARE is almost a neo-soul tune and features contributing vocals from MARTINA McBRIDE and R&B singer T.I. PURPLE SKY is pure country complete with the slide guitar twang and shows that KID ROCK can write songs that could be found in the country music charts. WHEN IT RAINS is the first song of the album that didn’t really grab me, it’s an acoustic based tune that just really never gets off the ground. The album jumps back up for GOD BLESS SATURDAY that is more in line with KID ROCK’S previous album and boogies along at a great pace. COLLIDE sees ROCK reuniting once again with SHERYL CROW for another laid back airy ballad. FLYIN’ HIGH is another pure twangy country tune that features guest vocals from ZAC BROWN that is a smartly disguised ode to the simple pleasures of smoking pot. TIMES LIKE THESE was anther tune that didn’t grab me too much but still offered up enough to warrant repeat listens. ROCK ON is a stellar blues-based ballad that once again sees KID ROCK showing how much his vocals have improved over the journey. ROCK BOTTOM BLUES is a mix between a bit of delta blues complete with great harmonica work and some pure good time honky-tonk music complete with piano solo. Album closer FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A LONG may well just be the most earnest performance KID ROCK has ever put through a microphone and is a great ballad sung in a near falsetto vocal which adds yet another trick to his already loaded playbook.
For those that have written KID ROCK off in the past for whatever reason, I implore you to just have a listen to some samples from this new album, it really is a great singer/songwriter album that should appeal greatly to any fan of BOB SEGER, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN or pure Americana rock in general. BORN FREE shows yet another side of a man that amidst all of the controversy and unwarranted critical backlash, still manages to be one of the enigmas of the modern day music scene and is one of the most enjoyable albums I had the pleasure of listening to all year.
Written By ZeeZee
Rating : 9/10