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Album Review: Kid Rock – First Kiss

Kid Rock
First Kiss
Warner Bros. Record
Kidrock.com

Are you a 40-something, blue-collar man with over-romanticized memories of your high-school days? If so, Kid Rock has just the thing for you. Never daring to exceed the low expectations set for him, Kid Rock continues his insufferable trend of southern dad-rock revival with his latest, First Kiss.

After earning his stripes in the 90s’ rap-rock scene, Kid Rock has regressed to performing stadium rock for the masses. Basic rock riffs accompany laughably lazy lyrics on every track, falling back on the age-old Kid Rock sound of pure mediocrity.

Never daring to change his formula, First Kiss is the same brand of lackluster quasi-inspiring rock n’ roll that Kid Rock made his name on. It seeps into the listener’s ears, beckoning back to the days of chasing girls and having a cool car. Don’t for a second think that your high-school days looked as good as you’re remembering them. You didn’t get with the hot cheerleader named Tiffany, and you didn’t drive a Mustang. No, you got with the bassoon player, Beatrice, and you drove a Toyota. Songs like “First Kiss” and “Good Times, Cheap Wine” are particularly evocative of the fake high-school memories Kid Rock relies on to sell records, tapping into over-embellished ideas of how cool the listening dads were when growing up. Catering to the lowest common denominator in every way possible, Kid Rock delivers an overly bland and laughably lazy record, filled with clichés and strained metaphors. There’s even a touching piano ballad about father-son relationships: “Drinking Beer With Dad”.

If you like the hooks of your songs to be just a repetition of the title, and you like your subject matter to never stray away from beer and girls, this album will resonate in the deepest parts of your soul.

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