Wednesday, Novemeber 28, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 67



Kid Rock's latest CD, 'Cocky,' pumps hard

By Ed De La Garza
Daily Cougar Staff

Kid Rock isn't a great singer, rapper or musician. But he is talented enough to meld rap, metal, Southern rock and even country into an easily
accessible sound a sound many have copied since Kid's debut Devil Without a Cause.

Clay McBride/Atlantic Records

Rap/rock/country/metal/blues artist Kid Rock is a man of many styles. His latest album, Cocky starts slow but finishes strong.

Three years later, the former Detroit suburbanite, born Bob Ritchie, is ready to reclaim his title as the baddest bad-ass with his sophomore album,
Cocky. But like a lot of rap acts, Kid gets bogged down in trying to prove he's the greatest of all time.

While clever as hell, lines such as "Say bye, bye, bye to the whack/ And let it be known Kid Rock is back" and "It ain't bragging ... if you back it up" grow
tired fast. It takes a while, six songs to be exact, before Kid actually backs it up.

"I'm Wrong but You Ain't Right" begins a searing five-song set that makes the long wait worthwhile. The song starts off like a classic Garth Brooks tune
before Kid tears it up, putting other rap-metal acts to shame with loud, crunching guitars and hard drum beats.

The album's at its best when Kid plays it straight and sticks with a groove instead of throwing too many things into the mix. "I'm a Dog" is what Aerosmith
used to sound like when it was a rock band. "Baby Come Home" is pure blues, bolstered by Stefanie Eulinberg's underrated drums.

"Lonely Road of Faith," presumably this album's answer to Devil's "Only God Knows Why," is one of three country-based songs. It's surprising to hear
anything sensitive coming out of Kid. And as if he knows the audience doesn't believe him, he turns it into a slinky rap with the acoustic turning into a
wah-wah guitar.

"Midnight Train to Memphis" sounds like Kid's ode to Merle Haggard. It's actually a nice little song before Kid gets back to the bragging and it changes
into a cacophonous mess.

"Picture" is a duet with Sheryl Crow. The trouble is, he's no George Jones and Crow's no Tammy Wynette. The pairing sounds forced (that's not hard to
believe, considering the two were romantically involved for a short time).

He may not have the greatest flow, but Kid Rock can write a killer rap song, as shown on the album closer "WCSR" (World Class Sex Rhymes). None of
the lyrics from this rhyming battle between Kid and guest Snoop Dogg can be printed. Considering Kid started off as a DJ, it's a fitting end to an album
hell-bent on bombarding the listener with all the artist's influences.

He's obviously grown from Devil Without a Cause. On that album, he wanted to make a name for himself. Cocky's problems lie in Kid's insistence on
still wanting to prove himself. The album is great at times, but it's as if he can't sustain any moments of musical creativity without reminding his audience
that he knows other musical genres.

Kid Rock is a bad-ass, but he shouldn't have anything to prove next time around.

Kid Rock


*** 1/2 (out of five stars)

Lava/Atlantic Records

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