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Album Review: Kid Rock – First Kiss

3 min read

Kid Rock has come a long way since his rap/rock beginnings, and who would have thought he’d end up focusing on Heartland Rock? Well with his 10th Album, First Kiss, that’s exactly where we see him continuing – but how does it stand up to his previous efforts?

kid rock first kissWe all know that Kid Rock is not afraid to shy away from controversy, but with his recent style of music we see a man focusing more on the past and opening his heart than getting angry and zoning in on the darker side of life. Album-titled track First Kiss helps set this ‘coming of age’ tone for the record, kicking off with an 80s tinged riff fitting perfectly around the warm and intoxicating lyrics of growing up and school boy crushes. It’ll make you feel tingly inside and beg for the past, as Kid sings of having ‘no money, just time to spend’, whilst the country roots of the track give it a perfect outlet of longing.

Good Times, Cheap Wine and its gentle jazz piano set against country guitar features a pleasant vibe whereas One More Song’s good use of melody and beefy chorus make for an album highlight. Track Johnny Cash must also be mentioned as a love letter to a forgotten time, with Kid Singing of ‘drinking bourbon by the batch’ backed up with one emotion that any decent Country song must have – love.

The thing about First Kiss, and that’s always been apparent with Kid Rock albums, is that he writes for himself. His fluctuation of styles and attitude has never been affected by the masses, but instead what he, as an artist, wants to release at the time. This record is no different and is likely to divide people. Some will find it strong, sentimental and listen to it with a smile on their face; others may find it full of cliché’s, self-absorbed and empty of anything deep. It’s true, there are a lot of cliché’s throughout the record (Track Drinking Beer with My Dad is particularly high on this front), but underneath it all, it’s just a man looking back on life and singing with his heart, just like the very best country stars do.

The album does manage to pry itself away from looking back with rose-tinted glasses nearer the end, with track FOAD. Standing for F*** Off And Die, the song is, unsurprisingly, full of bitterness and pain, contrasting well against the light musical tone. You can also see what Say Goodbye is trying to do at the end the record, but unfortunately it just kind of peters out without being memorable.

First Kid is not for everyone, but for those who like it, they will love it. It’s over the top shine on the past and everything great will have some cranking up the record and blasting out the good times. On the other hand, if you like your music a bit deeper, maybe this isn’t for you.