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Kid Rock's 'First Kiss' review: Words fail the country rocker

"First Kiss" by Kid Rock (Warner Bros / Wea, 2/24/2015) Photo Credit: Warner Bros / Wea

Even Kid Rock didn't like his last album, 2012's "Rebel Soul."

"That was a bad album," he told Rolling Stone. "I didn't spend enough time on it. So this one is more pressure."

So you'd think that he'd fix that problem in time for his new album, "First Kiss" (Warner Bros.), right? Of course not.

In fact, this one may be even lazier, showcasing what may very well be the laziest lyrics on a major-label release this year. Sure, Kid Rock should get some credit for writing these songs, something that often takes a dozen or so people to accomplish on many pop hits. But, man, he really could use some help.

Let's take "Johnny Cash," for example, a song he dedicates to the marriage of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. "I like to watch you shoot your guns," he sings. "And I like the way you love having fun." Other things he likes in the course of the 31/2-minute song: the way you turn me on, the way you shake it, the way you hold my hand, how you don't give a damn.

There are other problems. The "First Kiss" title track takes more than a little inspiration from Bryan Adams' "Summer of '69," both in sound and theme. On "Good Times, Cheap Wine," he takes shots at Coldplay and Coachella, while proudly proclaiming his disinterest in social media.

Though the music, mostly provided by Austin's Band of Heathens, is generally good, it gets lost in Kid Rock's ridiculous rhymes. He's at his worst in "Ain't Enough Whiskey," worrying about gun control, calling lawmakers "monkeys in suits," and dissing President Obama, saying, "Ain't enough change to change my mind." His solution to "them red-blooded white-boy blues"? More "whiskey, women and wine," and moonshine and cocaine.

Judging from "First Kiss," the blame may be a little closer to home.

THE GRADE C-

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